Hyde War Memorial Trust

Roll of Honour of the 710 men of Hyde who fell in WW1

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John LEE

Lance Corporal 10374 John LEE of 1st Bn., South Wales Borderers

Killed in Action Wednesday 21st October 1914, Langemarck, Ypres, Belgium, age 22

Of:8 Muslin Street, Newton, Hyde, Cheshire
Born:1892, Hadfield, Derbyshire
Parents: and Samuel Lee of 0
Marital status:
He enlisted in:Hyde, Cheshire
Remembered on:Grave/Panel Panel 22 of the memorial in Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Link with Hyde:Enlisted in Hyde


Newspaper Report:
A Newton Hero's Death: Shot Whilst Attending a Comrade
The sad news of the death of Corporal James Lees [John Lee], of 8 Muslin Street, Newton, reached his relatives during the past week, and although no official intimation had up to Thursday been received from the War Office, the message received bearing the news leaves hardly any doubt. A postcard from Sergt. Belford, sent to his relatives, had been forwarded to Mr Lees' [Mr Lee's] family, and this reads “I am sorry I forgot to mention about Corporal Lees [Lee], who was in the platoon which I had charge, and in which he had charge of one section of men under my orders. We had to take up a position which proved fatal to us. I sent for more men to the Captain, but he was shot dead. I am pleased to say that Corporal Lees [Lee] controlled the men most gallantly when I wounded, until he was shot down dead, doing his duty. He died like a brave soldier. It gave me the greatest grief to lose such an N.C.O. He had a peaceful death with no pain.”

This simple and straightforward missive, paying such great tribute to the dead hero has been written by Sergt. Belford, in a hospital in Malton. Corporal Lees [Lee] was in the South Wales Borderers, with whom he had been serving as a regular for over three years, he having been in the army about four years altogether. Previous to enlisting he attended the United Methodist Church, Muslin Street, Newton, where he was very well known, and held in the highest esteem. He was a keen soldier, and when ordered to the front, had completed six months training for Gymnastic instructor in the army. His regiment during the time they have been at the front has been through some terrible engagements, and the whole regiment has suffered considerably. Since leaving for the fighting line, he has been promoted from Lance-Corporal to Corporal, the photograph above depicts him with Lance-Corporal's stripe.
  North Cheshire Herald November 21st 1914, Page 8, Column 4

Additional: This Newspaper Report is actually for Lance Corporal 10374 John Lee of the 1st Bn., South Wales Borderers, and not James Lees. This is due to the fact there is no record of a James Lees or John Lees being recorded by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission, or in UK, Soldiers that Died in the Great War 1914-1919. Also where John Lee is recorded he is ranked as a Lance-Corporal, not Corporal as he is recorded in this article. It seems he had been promoted by the time he died.