Ralph was the only child of Walter Henry Leeke and his wife Josceline Etheldrida Mitford who were married in Christchurch, Hampshire in the autumn of 1921. He was born in Exeter.

His father who served on HMS Warspite at the Battle of Jutland died in Kampala, Uganda in 1924. His mother, who died in 1993 at the age of 103, married in 1929, as his second wife, Sir Offley Wakeman, 4th Bt.and was the mother of the 6th Baronet.

Ralph was educated at Wellington and matriculated in 1941. He was up at Christ Church for a year and gained a 2nd in the history short course.

After attending the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he joined the Grenadier Guards. On 9 September 1943, the 6th Battalion was the first Grenadier Battalion to set foot on European soil since the retreat from Dunkirk when they landed on the beaches at Salerno.

Early in July 1944, the Germans made a stand in front of Arezzo and there was fierce fighting before the 6th Armoured Division with the aid of the 2nd New Zealand Division, took the town on 16 July.

Ralph died of wounds on 7 August 1944.

He is buried in the Arezzo War Cemetery Plot I. D. 14.