People on board
LEATHERLAND, Percy John
Percy John Leatherland was born in 1891 in Harborne, Staffordshire to Tom Marshall Leatherland and Annie Maria Redfern. He was the second of their three children and the only son. In the 1891 census Tom Leatherland gave his occupation as ‘Grocers Traveller’; in 1901 and 1911 he was a ‘Commission Agent’. The family had been living in Lonsdale Road in Harborne but in 1911 they were in Stoke-on-Trent where Annie Maria was listed as ‘Hotel Proprietress’ of the Clarence Hotel in Brook Street. Only the youngest daughter, Mabel, was with them; Percy was a Commercial Traveller boarding in King’s Norton and the eldest, Gertrude, was a County Council clerk in Edgbaston, Birmingham. She married there in 1914 and the whole family address in 1918 was Gough Road in Edgbaston.
Prior to enlisting, Percy Leatherland was working for Messrs. Lees and Sons, Corn Merchants, Cheltenham. When the war began he enlisted in the North Staffordshire Regiment, Service Number 12762, was a Private, then Corporal and by 1916 was Company Quartermaster Sergeant. He was hospitalised for German measles in June of that year while he was serving with the 8th Battalion in France. He received a commission and transferred to The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment. He was wounded in France and was subsequently posted to the 3rd Reserve Battalion, which had been in Ireland since 1917.
In October 1918 he was passed fit to return to the frontline and on the 10th he was returning to Birmingham on leave with his parents before taking up his new posting. He did not survive the sinking of RMS Leinster but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. A memorial service was held on the 15th in St Peter’s Church, Harborne and his name is recorded on the War Memorial there. Between 2014 and 2018 the bell ringers at the church commemorated the lives of the Harborne men who had died in WW1, with a quarter peal on the Sunday closest to the date of their death. The ringing for Percy Leatherland and four others took place on the 14th of October 2018.