John Catterall Leach

From The Dreadnought Project
Jump to: navigation, search

Captain John Catterall Leach, M.V.O., D.S.O., R.N. (1 September, 1894 – 10 December, 1941) served in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Leach was born the son of Charles Rothwell Leach, a solicitor.[1]

Upon passing out of the training establishment, Leach was appointed first to Temeraire on 15 January, 1912. He would be there a considerable time, as war broke out while he was still in her.[2]

Great War

Leach was appointed to Erin on 15 October, 1914.[3]

Leach was promoted to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant on 30 December, 1914.[4]

Leach was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 December, 1915.[5]

On September 9, 1916, he married Evelyn Burnell Lee.

Leach stayed in Erin until being appointed to Excellent for a gunnery course on 11 February, 1918.[6]

Post-War

He was granted a first class certificate in gunnery on 23 July, 1919. On 20 July, 1920 he was appointed to Stuart as gunnery duties in the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla. This appointment lasted until November, 1922, when he was superseded.[7]

Leach was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 December, 1923, having recently been appointed to Calcutta as Fleet Gunnery Officer.[8]

Leach was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1928.[9]

Leach was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1933. He underwent a surgical operation on 27 February, 1936 at his own risk and expense.[10]

World War II

Leach was appointed in command of the brand-new battleship Prince of Wales on 15 February, 1941. In May, she was to accompany the battlecruiser Hood in battle to bring the raider Bismarck to bay. Blamed by some for breaking off the action after Hood was sunk, Leach was awarded the D.S.O. for his role.

Leach was to die in command of Prince of Wales when she was sunk by Japanese aircraft with the battlecruiser Repulse in 1941. He was thus the battleship's only commander.

See Also

Bibliography

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
David J. R. Simson
Captain of H.M.S. Cumberland
4 May, 1936[11] – Nov, 1938[12]
Succeeded by
Walter H. G. Fallowfield

Footnotes

  1. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  2. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  3. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  4. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  5. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  6. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  7. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  8. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  9. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  10. Leach Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/56. f. 154.
  11. The Navy List. (July, 1937). p. 226.
  12. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.