Private Philip Leppard

Thank you to the Friends of St. Margaret for allowing us to reproduce their research.

Philip was born in 1895 at West Hoathley Sussex, one of the 5 children of John and Sophia Leppard. Like his father, Philip worked as a farm labourer. The family moved from Lingfield to Ockley in 1913 to keep The Cricketers Arms.

Philip enlisted into the Royal Fusiliers at Horsham in January 1915 with three other Ockley friends, including Thomas Banfield and William Randall. (Only one of them would survive the war.) After training in Sussex, Mansfield and Salisbury Plain, the battalion left for France in November 1915. They were in action at Vimy Ridge in May 1916 and in the front line trenches at Montauban during the Battle of the Somme. On 27th July 1916, the battalion took part in the attack on Delville Wood, a strongly defended German position. Fierce fighting took place in terrible conditions. The wood had become a morass of mud, shellholes and tree stumps where men were constantly exposed to shellfire and mortar attack.  Casualty losses were heavy. When the battalion was withdrawn just one week later, over 250 officers and men were listed as killed, wounded or missing.

Philip Leppard Death Notice 30th December 1916 © Dorking Advertiser

Born                            West Hothley, Sussex
Lived                           Ockley, Dorking

Son of                         John and Sophia Leppard

Enlisted                       Horsham, West Sussex

Regiment                     22nd Battalion. City of London Regiment. Royal Fusiliers
Number                       1294

Date of Death              28th July 1916
Place of Death             Delville Wood. Somme
Cause of Death           Killed in Action

Age                              20

Memorial                     Thiepval Memorial. Pier and Face 8C, 9A and 16A

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