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Roll of Honour and Biographies

Officers of the Gloucestershire Regiment Who Died in the Great War

Surnames - L          (18 officers)



LAKE, Noel Graham

Lieutenant.   2/5th Battalion.   Killed in action in France on 25th March 1918.   Commemorated on Pozieres Memorial.   Aged 23.



Photo from "The Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic" of 13th April 1918.

Noel Graham Lake was born at Gibraltar on 11th May 1894.   His parents, Admiral Atwell Peregrine Lake and Constance Mary Lake, resided at "St Arvants", Pitville Spa, Marle Hill, Cheltenham, and later at "Tatchley", Prestbury, Glos.

He attended Cheltenham College between September 1907 and July 1912 where he was a member of the College Officer Training Corps.   On leaving the College he attempted the entrance examination for the Royal Marines but failed the medical due to poor eyesight.   He then joined the firm of Messrs Turner & Co, Shipping Agents of Liverpool and London, were he was an apprentice.

At the outbreak of war he was based at the Company's London Office and enlisted as a Private soldier, regimental number 465, into the 16th (Service) Battalion Middlesex Regiment (Public Schools).   On 24th February 1915, he was serving with this unit when he applied for a Commission in the Territorial Force with the 5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment TF and by April 1915 he was at Chelmsford under training and probation with the 2/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.  

This unit had been formed at Gloucester in early September 1914 under command of Lt Col the Hon A B Bathurst, as the second line to the 1/5th Battalion, and was named the 2/5th Battalion.   The unit later became part of 184th Infantry Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division and trained at Gloucester, Northampton, Chelmsford and Salisbury Plain before embarking to France on 24th May 1915.   Initial front line training under instruction of a London Welsh battalion was carried out in the "Moated Grange" area of the Laventie sector before the first independent manning of the front line near Fauquissart on 15th June 1915.   Noel Lake was duly appointed to a Territorial Force Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment on 4th July 1915 and to complete his training he was posted to the 3/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment TF which was stationed in the Weston-super-Mare area as the "third line" depot/training unit of the 5th Battalion.

He finally joined the 2/5th Battalion for active service on 27th August 1916 as a battle casualty replacement for Lt J Jackson (who was attached to the Battalion from the Dorset Regt) who had been killed in a raid on the German front line opposite the Battalion on the night of the 19/20th August 1916.   At the time the Battalion was stationed in the Laventie sector and at the end of October it was moved to the Somme sector and manned front-line trenches to the south-east of Grandcourt.   In March 1917 the Germans retreated eastwards from the Somme to the newly prepared defences of the Hindenburg Line and the Battalion moved eastwards to the St Quentin sector.   Noel Lake became ill and he was evacuated to the UK on 12th April 1917 for medical treatment at the 3rd General Hospital, Oxford and after treatment was posted to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, based at Hipswell Camp, Catterick, on 4th July 1917, to prepare for a return to active service.

On 21st March 1918 the Germans made a massive general attack, known as the Kaiserschlacht, or Operation Michael, on a 50 mile front in the areas of the Third and Fifth Armies between the River Scarpe, east of Arras in the north to Barisis near the River Oise in the south.   The 61st Division was part of XVIII Corps, Third Army.   On that date the Battalion was in support of the front line, stationed at Holnon Wood and was "stood-to" at 4.45am, 15 minutes after the first artillery barrage fell upon the area of the wood and Holnon village, and moved forward about 300 yards into the "Battle Zone".   The intense bombardment continued for more than four hours but the Battalion held it's position firing over open sights into the advancing enemy.   In the early morning of 22nd March the Germans had managed to infiltrate to the rear of the Battalion and after another heavy bombardment the Battalion was ordered to withdraw to Beauvois, reaching there at 5pm.   Defensive positions were established but at about midnight the Germans were seen to be working around the Battalion's right flank and were instructed to withdraw to the Voyennes area, and on 23rd March to withdraw further westwards to Languevoisin.   It was here that the Battalion finally managed to get some rest and food, the first since the 21st.   On 24th March the Battalion was ordered to cover the crossing of the Canal du Nord at Buverchy and no sooner had positions been prepared the Battalion was ordered to move to Brueil to defend the canal there. During the night of the 24th and the early morning of the 25th March, "C" Company crossed the canal and was advancing in open order to take up positions on the right flank, when it was enfiladed by German machine-gunners.  Lt Lake, who was gallantly leading the Company was killed, and 2Lt Fothergill and Lt Rowlands were wounded.

His body was never found or recovered from the battlefield and he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial To The Missing.   His death was reported in The Times published on 10th April 1918.

He is listed on the Cheltenham War Memorial and on the Prestbury War Memorial, and he is commemorated on the grave of his parents in Cheltenham Cemetery.

(WO 374/40425)


From War Office file WO374/40425





LAMMERT, Rennie Dean

Second Lieutenant.   8th Battalion.   Killed in action in France on 23rd March 1918.   Buried in Cambrai East Military Cemetery.   Aged 20.




He was appointed to a Temporary Regular Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment on 25th January 1917.

On 21st March 1918 the Germans made a massive general attack, known as the Kaiserschlacht, or Operation Michael, on a 50 mile front in the areas of the Third and Fifth Armies between the River Scarpe, east of Arras in the north to Barisis near the River Oise in the south.   The 19th Division was part of IV Corps, Third Army.   On that date the battalion was "stood-to" at 5.30am and moved to assembly positions near Velu Wood at 1pm and counter-attacked the enemy at 7pm.   On 22nd March the battalion was placed under command of the 154th Brigade (51st (Highland) Division and were instructed to advance on Doignies at 4am.   The battalion resumed their original positions after suffering many casualties and the enemy made up to three counter-attacks, supported by artillery, which were beaten back.   On 23rd March, the battalion were forced to withdraw to Bancourt, fighting a rear-guard action near Velu Wood, leaving stretcher-bound wounded to be captured the Germans.   Rennie Lammert was killed during these operations.   It may well be that his body was found by the Germans and buried in Plot VII, Row B, Grave 52 in what is now known as Cambrai East Military Cemetery.   Plot VII was known to be used for the burial of prisoners of war taken by the Germans.

His death was reported in The Times published on 14th May 1918.

(WO 339/73291)






LANE, Albert Henry

Lieutenant (Quartermaster).   Retired List ex 12th Battalion.   Died of illness in UK on 12th January 1921.   Buried in Bristol (?) Cemetery.

Aged 50.










LANGDON, John Henry

Lieutenant, MC.   Seconded to 195th Squadron Royal Air Force.   Killed in a flying accident in Egypt on 5th June 1918.   Buried in Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery.   Aged 26.




He was attached to the 2nd Battalion Machine Gun Regiment prior to 195 Sqn RAF


Commemorated on family grave in Shirehampton Cemetery (Plot 805).







LANGFORD, William John

Lieutenant.   2/6th Battalion.   Killed in action in France on 19th July 1916.   Commemorated on Loos Memorial.   Aged 24.




He was appointed to a Territorial Force Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment on 7th December 1914, joining the 6th Battalion.







LAVERTON, Frederick King

Lieutenant.   Seconded to 3rd (Auxiliary) School of Aerial Gunnery, Royal Flying Corps.   Killed in a flying accident in UK on 18th December 1917.   Buried in Barnwood (St Lawrence) Churchyard.  Aged 19.



Photo from Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificate


Frederick King LAVERTON was born at Dawlish on 30th July 1898.   His parents, Frederick and Ethel Laverton, later resided at "The Chestnuts", Innsworth, Glos and at "Omaha", Gloucester Road, Cheltenham.

He was educated at Brynmelyn School, Weston Super Mare and, for a short time, at Cheltenham College.

He was appointed to a Special Regular Commission as a Second Lieutenant into the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment on 10th November 1915 and served for some time with the 1st Battalion in France until he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps, as a Flying Officer, on 8th November 1916.   He qualified as a pilot on 15th September 1916 and promoted to Lieutenant on 1st March 1917.

On 18th December 1917 he was serving with the 3rd (Auxiliary) School of Aerial Gunnery at the New Romney Aerodrome when, whilst piloting Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter, Serial Number A1014, the aircraft was involved in a collision on the ground with another aircraft.   He was being taken to the Shorncliffe Military Hospital in an ambulance but died of his injuries before arriving there.   His observer/gunner, Sgt Querry, was uninjured.

He was 19 years old and is buried in St Lawrence's Churchyard, Barnwood, Gloucester and is commemorated on the St John's Church, Clevedon, War Memorial.









LAWRENCE, Frank Helier

Second Lieutenant.   1st Battalion.   Killed in action in France on 9th May 1915.   Commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.   Aged 22.



Frank Helier Lawrence was born at St Helier, Jersey, on 7th February 1893.   His parents, Sir Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman and Sarah Junner Lawrence, resided at





LAYNG, George Reginald Stuart

Lieutenant.  Attached to 1st Trench Mortar Battery.  Died of wounds in France on 18th August 1916.  Buried in Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension.  Aged 21.



Photo from "Leaving All That Was Dear"

by Sacker and Devereux

George Reginald Stuart Layng was born on the 21st August 1895 at Swatow, Kuang-Tung, China.   His parents, Dr Henry and Ada Louise Layng, later resided at "Coniston", Eldorado Road, Cheltenham.

He was educated at Abingdon School, and later at Cheltenham College between 1909 and 1913.   On leaving Cheltenham College he was articled to Messrs Winterbotham and Gurney, Solicitors, of Rodney Road, Cheltenham.

At the outbreak of war he enlisted in to a Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers before being appointed to a Temporary Regular Commission in the Gloucestershire Regiment on 9th January 1915.   He attended military and officer training at the 11th (Reserve) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, stationed at Greys, Essex, and on 24th October 1915 was posted for active service duty with 10th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, joining the Battalion, part of 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Division, at Lillers, north west of Bethune, along with 2Lt V G Nethercott, 2Lt H W Brewis and 2Lt H W Corke.   He served with the unit until he applied for and was transferred to the General List on 21st April 1916 for duty with Trench Mortar Batteries and was subsequently promoted to acting Lieutenant on 1st August 1916 whilst serving with 1st Brigade Trench Mortar Battery.

On 18th August 1916 whilst the 10th Battalion were in trenches at Bazentin-le-Petit the Battalion War Diary reports that Lt Layng and Captain T H B Rorie were killed by a shell whilst they were leaving battalion HQ.   Lt Layng may not have been killed outright as he was taken to a Dressing Station at Warloy-Baillon.   He was either dead on arrival or succumbed to his wounds there and he is buried the Communal Cemetery Extension in Plot III, Row D, Grave 6.

His death was reported in The Times published on 25th August 1916, with a short biography.   George Layng is commemorated on the Cheltenham War Memorial, the Cheltenham College Roll of Honour, and the Christ Church, Cheltenham, Roll of Honour.

WO 339/31301






LEARY, George Godfrey Whitley

Lieutenant.   10th Battalion.   Killed in action in France on 25th September 1915.   Believed to be buried in St Mary’s ADS Cemetery, Haisnes.   Aged 23.



From 10th Battalion officers group photo - November 1914

George Godfrey Whitley Leary was born in British Guiana in 1892.   His parents, Dr Edward George Leary and Mrs Lillian Maud Leary, resided at 3, High Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire.

He attended Repton School, Derbyshire and later entered Jesus College, Cambridge to study medicine.

At the outbreak of war he immediately volunteered and was appointed to a Temporary Regular Commission in the Gloucestershire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant on 29th October 1914 and posted to the 10th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.   The Battalion had been formed during September 1914, part of the Third Kitchener's New Army (K3), at Horfield Barracks, Bristol, under the command of Lt Col H E Pritchard (formerly CO 82nd Punjabis, Indian Army) from a small cadre of ex Regular NCOs who were responsible for initial training and discipline.   The unit soon gelled and moved to Codford on Salisbury Plain to commence training for war.   In mid-November 1914 the unit moved to Cheltenham where the HQ was based at Lansdown Crescent and the officers and soldiers were billeted around the town.   It was here that George Leary married Edythe Simpson Balls at Christ Church, Cheltenham, in April 1915.

In early May 1915 the Battalion, known as "The Fighting Tenth" returned to Salisbury Plain for further training, under command of the 26th Division, preparing for active service.   On 8th August 1915 the unit departed No 6 Camp, Sutton Veny, for Southampton were it embarked for France, landing at Le Havre during the early morning of 9th August.

On 16th August 1915, GHQ ordered the Battalion to join the 1st Infantry Brigade, part of the 1st Division, where it underwent further training for field service and first entered the front line trenches, in front of Bethune, on 19th August 1915, and on 3rd September 1915 George Leary was promoted to the rank of Temporary Lieutenant at the time he was commanding No 7 Platoon of No 2 Company.   On 10th September 1915 the battalion was ordered to prepare for action in the 1st Division attack to break through the German first, second and third lines in the Loos sector, with the Battalion's specific objective being the village of Hulloch.   Following an artillery and gas bombardment the attack was delivered at 6.30am on 25th September 1915 with officers and men attacking over 400 yards of "No Mans Land" and through German wire entanglements.   Immediately in front of the Battalion were the remains of a small copse called "Bois Carree", (map ref 36C.NW3.G.17d) and enemy observation posts and machine guns had been deployed here.   Bois Carree had not been neutralised and as the Battalion crossed No Mans Land, they suffered badly from sweeping enfilade fire.  The Battalion's War Diary reports that "The officers fell, as the position of their bodies showed, leading their men, and 16 out of 21 officers were lost".   Lt Leary was killed, as were Captain E H Moss, Capt J W C Tongue, Capt I R Gibbs, Capt E H Sale, Lt G W Robinson, Lt C A Symons, Lt H A Whiffin and 2Lt G W Field.  2Lt P V N Neems was severely wounded and died of wounds in the UK on 9th October 1915.

He was buried in a battlefield grave near Bois Carree with "about 8" other officers (probably all the above Battalion officers less Capt Moss and Lt Symons).   After the war, their bodies where most probably moved to the St Mary's ADS Cemetery, Haisnes,    This cemetery was made after the Armistice, by the concentration of graves from the battlefield of Loos sector, the great majority of the graves are those of men who fell in September and October 1915.   There are now nearly 2,000, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this cemetery.   Of these, over two-thirds are unidentified and Special Memorials are erected to 23 soldiers from the United Kingdom, known or believed to be buried among them.

A member of the 10th Battalion wrote to Lt Leary's widow:  "Dear Mrs Leary, I was in the front line trench with the 10th Glosters quite near your husband where he made the charge.  He was killed outright at the first German wire.  I never saw him fall as I was unconscious myself at the line.  However I came across his grave yesterday.  He’s between the Le Rutoire - Loos Road & the Vermelles - Hollich Road, 100 yds north of the Lone Tree".

His death was reported in The Times published on 20th October 1915 and a short bio was published in The Times of 26th October 1915.

He is commemorated on the Alfreton War Memorial and is also listed in Ireland's Memorial Records 1914-1918 (Volume 5, page 80).  His widow later re-married and resided at Batheaston, near Bath, Somerset.

On 15th October 2009, Lt Leary's "Memorial Book" was auctioned at Bloomsbury Auctions, London.   The Book contained, amongst other items, the image opposite.


Image from "Memorial Book" auctioned at Bloomsbury Auctions in October 2009.





LEICESTER, Donovan Nicholas

Second Lieutenant.   12th Battalion.   Killed in action in France on 8th May 1917.   Commemorated on Arras Memorial.   Aged 22.



  Donovan Nicholas Leicester was born on 28th March 1895 at Bristol.

On 4th May 1917 the 95th Brigade relieved the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade in trenches east of Fresnoy, 3 miles to the east of Vimy Ridge.   The trenches were taken and held by the Canadians at great cost on 3rd May.   The dispositions of the 95th Brigade were: front line east - 1st Bn East Surrey Regt, front line west - 12th Bn Glos Regt, in support - 1st Bn DCLI and in reserve - 1st Bn Devon Regt.   The East Surrey's were deployed to the right of the Battalion and the 19th Bn Canadian Infantry (4th Canadian Infantry Brigade) to the left.  The relief was difficult as the ground could not be reconnoitred in daylight and the trenches were very badly damaged by overlapping shell-holes connected by ditches.   The Germans continued a heavy shellfire throughout 5th, 6th and 7th May.

At 3.45am on the morning of the 8th May, the Germans commenced a very heavy barrage on all Battalion lines and at Battalion HQ.   There was a thick mist, making observation at 50 yards difficult so "A" Coy, in the front lines with "C" Coy, send up the SOS signal.  The Germans, the 5th Bavarian Division, then attacked in overwhelming numbers.   After intense fighting the front-line Companies managed to check the first assault, but at great cost.  The remnants of "A" and "C" Coy then fell back and re-grouped.   Counter-attacks were made by "B" Coy, "D" Coy, the re-grouped "C" Coy and 1st Bn DCLI.   The original front-line was temporarily recovered, but, as the Germans had gained the surrounding high ground on both flanks, the British were forced to retire.   "D" Coy were later ordered forward to establish a line with the Canadians.  Fierce fighting continued throughout the day and Battalion casualties were so high that it was forced to withdraw from the line being replaced by 1st Bn Devon Regt at 10pm.  The Battalion had virtually ceased to exist losing 13 officers and 283 other ranks killed, wounded or missing.

2Lt Leicester, along with 2Lt W T Burges, 2Lt A W Merrell, Capt W W Parr and 2Lt J T Ryde (Beds Regt attached) had been killed.   Lt C H Culpin had been seriously wounded and died at a Casualty Clearing Station on 15th May.

His commanding Officer wrote to his family - " He died leading his men on in a counter-attack and by his confident bearing and carelessness of danger did much to rally a very tired company. He was very brave, and did not show the slightest sign when shells burst quite close to him that he even thought of them. His men say he died standing up with a smile on his face, killed by machine-gun fire at close range. I cannot tell you how the battalion deplores his death. He was my signalling officer, and was with me on the morning of the 8th until shortly before his death, and volunteered to help the company going forward, as it was short of officers."

Donovan Leicester's body was never recovered from the battlefield or identified and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing.

Commemorated on the Chalford War Memorial.





LE MOTTEE, Edward D’Albret

Major, DSO, MiD*.   Attached to HQ 9th (Scottish) Division.   Killed in action in France on 25th September 1915.   Commemorated on Loos Memorial.   Aged 41.




Commemorated on a Roll of Honour at St Mary's Church, Eastbourne, Sussex.






LESLIE, William Robert Norman

Lieutenant.   1st Battalion.   Killed in action in France on 25th January 1915.   Buried in Brown’s Road Military cemetery, Festubert.   Aged 25.



  William Robert Norman Leslie was born on the 12th April 1889 at Benares, India, the only son of Lieutenant Colonel William Clarence Colebrook Leslie OKS, Indian Staff Corps, and Annie Elizabeth Leslie of High Hurstwood, Sussex.

He was educated at Junior King’s from January 1898 and at the King’s School Canterbury from January 1903 to July 1906, where he played in the Rugby XV in 1904 and 1905.   In 1908 he entered the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and on the 9th of March 1910 he was appointed to a Regular Commission a Second Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment.

He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 10th of January 1912 but on the 18th June 1913 he resigned his commission and left the army joining the Asiatic Petroleum Company in Singapore.

On the outbreak of war he immediately applied to rejoin his old Regiment and on 21st October 1914 was appointed to a Special Regular Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion.  He was promoted to Lieutenant, before being posted to an Infantry Base Depot of the BEF on 3rd January 1915.   He was posted to the 1st Battalion on 19th January and ordered to join "C" Company as a Platoon Commander.   The Battalion at the time were serving behind the front line, near "Pont Fixe", to the South West of Givenchy.   The "Pont Fixe" was the bridge across the La Bassee Canal.

Conditions in the trenches were appalling with a fall of snow being followed by a sudden thaw which caused the parapets to collapse.   On the 24th of January the German guns were particularly active but caused no casualties and little damage.  Early on the morning of the 25th a German deserter gave himself up and warned of an impending large scale attack against the British and the neighbouring French.  At 7.30am a rifle grenade was fired from the German line which was the signal for the attack to begin and large numbers of enemy troops surged forward. They were brought to a halt by sustained rifle fire 50 yards from the Battalion's first line.  Those that did not retire were all killed.  Word came at 7.40am that the Germans had broken through on the left of the Battalion and reinforcements were sent to eliminate them.

In conjunction with some men from the Black Watch who were in reserve, the Germans were counter-attacked and all killed or taken prisoner . At this time "C" Company were ordered to reinforce a position at Pont Fixe (grid reference 36C.NW1.A.14.b) and whilst they were moving forward they came under heavy shell fire which killed Lt Leslie and four of his men.


His parents received a telegram from the War Office dated the 28th January 1915: "Deeply regret to inform you that 2nd Lieut. W.R.N. Leslie 1st Gloucester Regt. was killed on 25 January. Lord Kitchener expresses his sympathy."   His death was reported in The Times published on 2nd February 1915.

He was buried where he fell on the battlefield and in September 1920 his body was exhumed and reburied in Brown's Road Military Cemetery, Festubert, in Plot 5, Row H, Grave 3.   Inscribed on his headstone is "Grip Fast.  Dearly Loved Only Son Of Lt Col William Leslie, IA".

He is commemorated on the Singapore Cenotaph







LEWIS, Clifford Stanley

Lieutenant.   2/6th Battalion.   Died of wounds in France on 19th September 1916.   Buried in Merville Communal Cemetery.   Aged 21.











Lieutenant.   8th Battalion.   Killed in action in Belgium on 26th July 1917.   Buried in La Laiterie Military Cemetery, near Ypres.   Aged 22.





The Battalion War Diary for 26th July 1917 simply reports that the Battalion were in the line at Oosttaverne repairing trenches and Capt Wookey and Lt R Lighthouse were killed.






LINDREA, Wilfred George

Second Lieutenant.  Attached to 183rdTrench Mortar Battery.  Killed in action in France on 30th March 1918.  Buried in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery.

Aged 33.










LLOYD, James

Captain, MC, MiD.   8th Battalion.   Died of wounds in France on 21st April 1918.   Buried in Etaples Military Cemetery.   Aged 30.










LOOK, John Leopold

Second Lieutenant.   Attached to 1/5th Battalion Devonshire Regiment.   Died of wounds in France on 1st September 1918.   Buried in Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt.   Aged 31.










LOVETT, Alfred Crowdy

Brigadier General, CB, CBE, MiD.   Formerly Commanding Officer 1st Battalion.   General Staff, Commanding East Lancashire Reserve Brigade, Territorial Force.   Died of illness in UK on 27th May 1919.   Buried in Scarborough (Manor Road) Cemetery.   Aged 57.







Page last updated: 1st October 2014


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