No. 7046457, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Died of disease on Saturday 29 June 1946 (aged 40)
Newtownards (Movilla) Cemetery, Co. Down (Section 21 Grave 233)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Wilfred Leitch was born on 17 May 1906 in Bessbrook, Co. Armagh and he was a son of Thomas and Mary Jane Leitch (nee McGrath) of 15 College Square West, Bessbrook. They were married on 2 May 1887 in Bessbrook Presbyterian Church. Thomas Leitch (aged 16), a labourer from Bessbrook was a son of Frederick Leitch, a hawker. Mary Jane McGrath (aged 19) from Bessbrook was a daughter of William McGrath, a labourer.
Thomas worked as a hawker (pedlar) and he and Mary Jane Leitch (nee McGrath) had at least twelve children including:
Thomas (born 7 January 1892 in Bessbrook)
Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 1 July 1893 in Bessbrook)
Anabella (born 31 May 1895 in Bessbrook)
Ernest (born 22 July 1897 in Mullaghglass)
John Watson Dillon (born 25 April 1899 in Tullyhappy)
Edward Victor (born 9 May 1901)
Violet (born 24 September 1903)
Wilfred (born 17 May 1906 in Bessbrook)
Edith Beatrice (born 1 December 1908 in Bessbrook)
Wilfred Leitch moved from Bessbrook to Newtownards where he worked for Messrs George Walker and Company (Walkers Mill). Wilfred Leitch was a successful dog breeder and won several rosettes at local dog shows. He and Eileen Cleland (aged 17) from Newtownards were married on 27 October 1934 in Great Victoria Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast and they had five children.
Wilfred Leitch enlisted in Newtownards and during the Second World War he served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was 40 when he died of cancer on 29 June 1946 at Warrington Military Hospital. His military funeral took place the following Monday and a gun carriage drawn by motor truck conveyed his remains from his home at 15 Movilla Street, Newtownards to Movilla Cemetery. The services at the house and graveside were conducted by the Revd G.M. Glass from Moira. Wilfred Leitch’s wife Eileen placed an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
LOVE’S LAST GIFT, REMEMBRANCE
BY HIS LOVING WIFE
AND FIVE LITTLE CHILDREN
Craftsman Wilfred Leitch (No. 7046457) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.