Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Lance Corporal William John Leckey


Leckey 1


Leckey 2


William John Leckey was born on 16 June 1893 at 57 Tennent Street, Belfast, the second of seven children of lamp-lighter Samuel Leckey and his wife Jane (nee Beggs). By 1911 he was living with his family at 35 Newport Street, Belfast, and working as an apprentice printer and compositor. According to the Belfast Telegraph he was "a playing member of St Silas's Football Club".

Leckey enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 6 and 17 May 1916 (No.2167). After training with the regiment at Antrim, in November 1916, together with around 100 other North Irish Horsemen, Leckey volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles (No.40889). They embarked for France on 7 December, where they joined the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, on the Somme front.

Leckey was wounded during Third Ypres, most likely on 16 August 1917 at the Battle of Langemarck.

On 11 May 1918 he was in the line with his battalion in the Ypres sector. According to the battalion diary, six men were killed and three wounded that day, most likely from enemy shellfire. Lance Corporal Leckey was one of the fatalities. He is buried in Gwalia Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlanderen, Belgium, grave II.E.23. The gravestone inscription reads:

40889 LANCE CPL.
11TH MAY 1918 AGE 24



Image of Leckey from the Belfast Telegraph of 22 June 1918 kindly provided by Mark Ramsey. Image of gravestone kindly provided by Richard Evans - see his website Nelson, Glamorgan and the Great War http://www.nelson-ww1-memorial.org.uk.