Lieutenant Thomas Edward Geoffrey LEIGH PEMBERTON
13th London Regiment
Date of birth: 15 November 1893
Date of death: 11 January 1915
Killed in action aged 21
Buried in the Royal Irish Guards Graveyard at Estaires. Plot III. J. 20
Thomas Edward Geoffrey (always known as Geoffrey) was born at Wrinsted Court, near Maidstone, Kent, the only son of Wilfred Leigh-Pemberton, a barrister, and his wife Alice Augusta Erskine.
He was educated at Rugby and came up to Christ Church where he joined the Officers’ Training Corps. Fond of all sports, he hunted a small pack of harriers of his own.
At the outbreak of war, Geoffrey was learning business with Antony Gibbs and Son, Merchant Bankers. On 12 May 1914 he was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant 13th The London Regiment [TF] and was promoted Lieutenant on 1 September having volunteered for foreign service. He was sent to France in early November and was killed in action near Laventie on 15 January 1915.
His commanding officer wrote to his parents “I feel I must write and tell you how all my officers will mourn his loss most deeply. His capacity and his popularity made everybody like him; he was a real good fellow in every way, and he has made a gap which we can never fill. I am sorrier than I can say.”
Major-General Sir A Turner wrote “He was a most excellent and conscientious young officer and a great loss to his battalion, in which he was a great favourite.”
Captain Thomson wrote, “He was a really good officer, always cheerful and of the very greatest assistance to me in the trying work of the trenches. The battalion has lost a good officer and of all the officers a valued friend.”
Sergeant Stiles wrote “Lieut. Leigh-Pemberton was very much liked and respected by every man he came in touch with. One of our bravest officers; he considered his men; in fact, he used to take four hours duty whilst his sergeant slept and the sergeant used to take two hours duty whilst he slept. He would at any time, carry the pack of any man who was knocked up. I’m sure any of our men would have followed him through fire and water. His death was a great shock to the whole battalion.”
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