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Lieutenant Colonel

Royal Engineers

Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis

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Figure 1.  Lieutenant Colonel Frank Bertram Legh, O.B.E., M.C., R.E.


            Lieutenant Colonel Legh's medals were added to my collection in 1978.  Legh's medals include the Order of the British Empire (Military), the Military Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal with mention in despatches oak leaf, and the French Legion of Honor.  The medals were purchased with their original ribbons, mounted as worn by Lieutenant Colonel Legh.  Although I had proudly displayed these medals for many years, it was not until recently, after reading Peter Chasseaud's excellent work entitled Artillery's Astrologers: A History of British Survey and Mapping on the Western Front, 1914-1918, that I decided to research Legh's life and military service in detail.  Much of the detail in the following narrative that relates to Legh's work during the Great War of 1914-1918 was taken from Chasseaud's book.  A large portion of the family information was taken from “AN OUTLINE OF THE LIVES OF FRANK AND MABEL LEGH – 1880-1972” written by their son Richard Frank Desmond Legh (1911-1996).   


            The research of Frank Bertram Legh's story begins with his grandmother, London-born Catharine Legh.  The 1861 Census of England shows Catharine Legh, 58 years of age, as the head of a household living at Marlbone Villa in Tunbridge Wells , Kent , a town located approximately 30 miles to the southeast of London .[1]  Living with her was her son, Henry Edmund Legh, 21 years of age, who like his mother was born in London , Middlesex.  At the time of the census, Henry was an undergraduate student at Oxford University .  Catharine also had two daughters living with her at Marlbone Villa: Isabella Helen Legh, 19 years of age, born in Putney, Surrey and Frances Ann Legh, 18 years of age, born in London .

            No information was uncovered during this research to indicate who Catharine Legh’s husband was.  Either she was a woman of some means in her own right, or her husband had left her in a good position financially, presumably after his death.  In addition to being able to afford the costs associated with keeping a son at Oxford , Catharine Legh had the means to employ three domestic servants.  The 1861 census indicates that the household consisted of a 15-year old parlor maid by the name of Ann Jane Barham of London , a 19-year old housemaid from Wadhurst , Kent by the name of Elizabeth Gibb, and a 21-year old cook named Ann Miles from Hawkesbury , Kent .

            Henry Edmund Legh would become the father of Frank Bertram Legh.  The 1881 Census of England shows Henry Edmund Legh, 41 years of age, residing at 88 Maison Dieu Road in Charlton , Kent [2] with his 31-year old wife Isabella G. Legh who was originally from Sydenham , Kent .  Henry Legh's occupation is given as Chaplain of Dover Union.  At the time of the census, Henry and Isabella had one son and three daughters.[3],[4]

·         Catherine G. Legh, 8 years of age, born in London , Middlesex. 

·         Edmund W. Legh, 7 years of age, born in Leigh, Surrey .

·         Agnes H. Legh, 3 years of age, born in Leigh, Surrey .

·         Isabelle Legh, 11 months old, born in Dover , Kent .

Both Catharine and Edmund are shown as scholars in the census return.  Frank Bertram Legh does not appear in the 1881 census, as he was born after the census was taken.

            The 1881 census listed three domestic servants in the Legh household: a 40-year old cook (spinster) named Mary A. Mason from Bentley, Suffolk , a 38-year old nurse (widow) named Louisa Gilbert also from Bentley, Suffolk , and a 16-year old housemaid (spinster) named Ann Simmons from Nettlestead , Kent .

            Frank Bertram Legh was born at 88 Maison Dieu Road in Charlton, Dover , Kent on the 22nd of October 1881.  His birth certificate lists his father, Henry Edmund Legh, as a Clerk in Holy Orders and his mother as Isabella Grace Legh (nee Kite).[5]

            Frank attended a junior school at Tonbridge and then spent four years at Berkhamsted School before being admitted to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich.[6]

Figure 2.  Frank Bertram Legh as a Young Boy.  


Chatham , Kent (1900-1903)

Frank Bertram Legh was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on the 18th of August 1900.[7]  The 1901 British Census shows that 2nd Lieutenant Legh was stationed at St. Mary Barracks in Gillingham , Kent .  During this period he probably was undergoing training at the School of Military Engineering at Brompton Barracks in Chatham , Kent .  It appears that he may have stayed at Brompton Barracks until early in 1903.

Mauritius (1903)

            By April of 1903 2nd Lieutenant Legh was serving on the island of Mauritius.[8],[9]  It is likely that he was serving in the 43rd Fortress Company of the Royal Engineers at this time. This company had been formed on Mauritius in 1895 and according to the work done by Gase (2003) this company was still on the island during the time that Legh was serving there.

St. Helena (1903-1905)

            The Army Lists show Legh serving on the island of St. Helena [10] in the South Atlantic Ocean as early as May of 1903.[11]  The unit in which he served during this period is unknown, but again, it probably was a fortress company.  On the 18th of August 1903, while serving on St. Helena , Legh was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.[12]

Chatham , Kent (1905-1907)

            Lieutenant Legh was posted home from St. Helena and in January of 1905 he was assigned to company duties with "A" (Depot) Company at the School of Military Engineering at Chatham .[13]  The Royal Engineers Quarterly Lists for this period show that he was married and that he was a Member of the Royal Engineers Institute.

            His company officer duties with "A" (Depot) Company continued until sometime in late 1906 or early 1907.  Monthly Army Lists for early 1907 show him serving at Chatham , with duties unspecified.  He may, in fact, still have been serving with "A" (Depot) Company or he may have been on leave in preparation for reassignment to Ireland .

Ireland (1907-1912)

            Lieutenant Legh was posted to Belfast in June of 1907 for duty with the Ordnance Survey.[14]  In January of 1908 he was serving with the 14th (Survey) Company, Royal Engineers with the Ordnance Survey in Phoenix Park , Dublin .[15]  He served with this unit on the Survey of Ireland until May of 1912 after having received orders the previous month for reassignment to the Ordnance Survey, Edinburgh and Ceylon .[16]  On the 18th of August 1910 while serving at Phoenix Park , Legh was promoted to the rank of Captain.[17]

Scotland (1912)

            Captain Legh reported to Edinburgh on temporary duty pending orders to proceed to Ceylon .  The monthly Royal Engineers Lists from June to August 1912 show that he served with the 49th (Coast Battalion) Company at Rutland Square in Edinburgh .  In September of 1912 he was posted as District Officer, Forth and Clyde Defences in Edinburgh and he remained in this position until October of 1912.  During this time he was still on orders to Ceylon .

Ceylon (1912-1914)

            Captain Legh reported for duty with the 31st Fortress Company, Royal Engineers in Colombo , Ceylon in November of 1912.  Monthly Army Lists and Royal Engineers Lists show that he was assigned duties as District Officer, Outstations.  He served in Ceylon until September of 1914 when the 31st Fortress Company was ordered home.  The following is a description of the voyage of the company from Ceylon to London as written by a non-commissioned officer (whose initials are C.W.P.) of the unit:[18]

"The 31st Fortress Company consisting of Captain F.B. Legh, R.E., Lieutenant Carter, R.E. and 22 NCOs and men, embarked on P. & O. Morea on the 23rd of September 1914.   

Figure 3.  S.S. Morea, circa 1914.  

The voyage was uneventful until they reached Bombay on the morning of the 26th of September, when they heard that an armed merchantman or cruiser had chased them during the night.  The native crew left as soon as the vessel was berthed, and a new crew could not be obtained because of the funk.  It seemed that the ship would be delayed, but the men were thought of, and on being asked by the chief officer, they took on the job as deck hands to work the ship to London .  They all "mucked" in, from the Company Sergeant Major downwards.  No watches were kept by the Sappers, but all the other work, such as swabbing down, cleaning brasswork, weighing anchor, attending to moorings and gangways, manning life boats, fire alarms, handling baggage and mails, and all other seamen's duties were carried out.  Some surprise was caused by their knowledge of knots and the general intelligence shown by all in making fast.  The work, it was stated, was done more efficiently and expeditiously by the 22 NCOs and men of the 31st Company than by the 70 odd natives who had left the ship. 

On reaching Aden the men of the company were told that they had had a narrow squeak, as the German cruiser Königsberg was only 60 miles away.  H.M.S. Weymouth almost immediately put to sea, presumably to find her, but apparently without success. 

Before leaving the ship at London (Tilbury) the chief officer, on behalf of the captain and officers, congratulated the men of the 31st Company on the able way in which they adapted themselves to the work.  He also passed some flattering remarks about the corps and the handy men in it." 

Home Service (1914)

            Captain Legh and his company arrived at Tilbury on the 17th of October 1914.  Legh remained at home for about two months until the 14th of December when he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force in France .  His service during this two-month period is not known.  It is probable that he was on leave after having returned from abroad and prior to being assigned to the theatre of the war in France and Flanders .


France and Flanders (1914-1918)

            After his arrival in France , Captain Legh was probably assigned to a field survey unit.  This assumption is based on the fact that a significant portion of his previous service to this point had involved survey work and that references consulted for this narrative next place him in a Field Survey Company in France during the Great War.

To better understand the organization and work done by the units to which Legh was assigned, a brief description of the mission and organization of the field survey units is in order.  During the Great War of 1914-1918, the field survey units of the Royal Engineers were responsible for the following tasks in support of the armies of the British Expeditionary Force in the field:

a.       Development of maps in the following categories:

(1)   Trench maps.

(2)   Barrage maps.

(3)   Target maps.

(4)   Topographical maps.

(5)   Enemy organization maps.

b.      Trigonometric and topographical survey.

c.       Air Survey.

d.      Map compilation.

e.       Drawing and printing.

f.       Sound-ranging.

g.      Flash-spotting.

h.      Battery survey.  

i.        Predicted fire.


British survey work during the war was mainly carried out by the Sappers, with a significant amount of support from the Royal Artillery.  Their task was to neutralize the German machine gun and artillery while the infantry and tanks crossed no man's land and captured and consolidated the enemy positions, or fought through to exploit success and maneuvered to threaten the enemy's flanks and rear. 

            The field survey units of the Royal Engineers initially were organized as companies.  A Field Survey Company consisted of the following sections:

·         Headquarters

·         Topographical Section

·         Map Section

·         Observation Section

·         Sound-Ranging Section

Four of these companies were formed in France in March of 1916 and on the recommendation of General Headquarters (GHQ), France, they were recognized as units of the Royal Engineers in July of 1916.  The sections listed above that already existed in France were absorbed into the Field Survey Companies.  Later, Army Printing Sections were transferred from the Printing Company to the Field Survey Companies.

Figure 4.  A Field Survey Detachment in the Field in France.  

The Field Survey Companies serving overseas in May of 1918 were the following:

1st, 3rd, 4th , 5th Field Survey and Depot Companies...................................... France

6th Field Survey Company............................................................................. Italy

7th Field Survey Company............................................................................. Egypt

8th Field Survey Company............................................................................. Salonika

In order to regularize the establishment of skilled personnel attached to Field Survey Companies in France and to enable these personnel to be replaced in the units from which they had been withdrawn, the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief recommended in May of 1918, that field survey units in Armies should be organized as battalions, each under the command of a Lieutenant Colonel, with an Adjutant.  This was approved and each battalion was organised as follows:

1 Headquarters Section

2 Artillery Sections

Corps Topographical Section

The Headquarters Section had the mission of surveying, compilation and printing.  Each Artillery Section consisted of Sound-Ranging Sections and Observation or "Flash Spotting" Groups.  "Flash Spotting" was a colloquial and semi-official name applied to detachments engaged on visual observation of enemy fire.  At different times they were named Artillery Survey Sections, Artillery Survey Detachments, Observation Sections and finally, Observation Groups.[19]  Units were placed for tactical purposes under the direct control of the General Officers Commanding, Royal Artillery in the Field Armies.

Five Field Survey Battalions were formed for the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Reserve (Fifth) Armies.  The Depot Field Survey Company also was organized into a battalion under the command of a Lieutenant Colonel.

Little is known of Legh's early service during the war except that he was mentioned in the despatches of Field Marshal J.D. French dated the 30th of November 1915.[20]  Captain Legh probably was serving in one of the topographical, map, observation or sound-ranging sections that existed in France prior to the formation of the Field Survey Companies in 1916. 

On the 19th of July 1916 the 5th Field Survey Company was formed for the new Reserve (Fifth) Army.  This company was commanded at that time by Captain B.F.E. Keeling, R.E.[21]   Captain Legh's section appears to have been assigned to this company.[22]  NOTE: The war diary of the 5th Field Survey Company may be found in an Addendum to this narrative.

Soon after the formation of the company, Keeling and his men were engaged in some of the major actions of the war.  These included the Battle of Thiepval (26 to 28 September 1916), the Battle of Le Transloy (1 to 18 October 1916) and the Battle of Ancre Heights (1 October to 11 November 1916).[23]  On the 2nd of November 1916, during this latter battle, Legh was promoted to the rank of Major.[24]

On the 1st of January 1917 the 5th Field Survey Company was located at Toutencourt with the Fifth Army Headquarters.  On this same date the London Gazette published the award of the Military Cross to Major Legh.[25]  Major Keeling was in England at this time recovering from wounds and Major Legh was in command of the company.[26]  On the 9th of April headquarters of the 5th Field Survey Company moved to Albert in preparation for the next major action of the war.  This action took place at Bullecourt from the 3rd to the 17th of May 1917.[27]

Major Legh left the Albert area with Fifth Army Advanced Headquarters on the 2nd of June 1917 and moved to La Lovie Chateau, two miles northwest of Poperinghe.  On the 3rd of July he departed from France on a 10-day leave, returning to his unit on the 13th of July. 

Major Legh and the 5th Field Survey Company next took part in the Battle of Pilckem between the 31st of July and the 2nd of August 1917.  He then saw action in the Battles of Menin Road (20 to 25 September 1917) and Passchendaele (26 October to 10 November 1917).[28]  For his service during this latter action, Major Legh in mentioned in the despatches of Sir Douglas Haig dated the 7th of November 1917.[29]

On the 17th of November 1917 Major Legh attended the monthly sound-ranging conference at St. Pol.  His company's headquarters was still located at La Lovie Chateau at this time.  Immediately following the conference, on the 20th of November, Major Legh returned to England where he was on temporary duty to the headquarters of the Ordnance Survey at Southampton .  He returned to France , arriving at Amiens on the 23rd of November and on the following day he returned to the 5th Field Survey Company at La Lovie Chateau.  He next moved to Dury, just south of Amiens , with the company headquarters section.[30],[31]

The 5th Field Survey Company moved from Proven in Flanders to Lamotte-en-Santerre during the period from the 20th to the 22nd of December 1917.  On the 17th of January 1918 Major Legh attended a conference at the Sound Ranging School located at Campigneulles-les-Grandes, near GHQ at Montreuil .  These conferences had been held monthly since the beginning of 1917 and it was customary for officers commanding the Field Survey Companies to attend with their sound-ranging officers.[32]

On the 23rd of February, Major Legh and all officers commanding Field Survey Companies attended a conference at GHQ to coordinate defence arrangements and to clarify policy in the event of an enemy breakthrough in the Fifth Army sector, or a retirement of the army.  Legh called a conference at 5th Field Survey Company headquarters at Lamotte on the 25th of February.  His purpose was to make the defensive doctrine clear to all group and section commanders.[33]   

At some point early in 1918 Legh was appointed an Acting Lieutenant Colonel.[34]  He proceeded home to England on the 21st of March 1918, the very day that the Germans began their great offensive in the St. Quentin area.  Legh surely heard the news of the battle in which his company was involved and either volunteered to return immediately to the front or was ordered to do so by higher command.  The Battle of St. Quentin lasted until the 23rd of March; however, Legh did not return from leave until the 24th of March.  When he did return to the front he first reported to Fifth Army Headquarters prior to rejoining his unit.  Lieutenant Colonel Legh returned to the 5th Field Survey Company from Fifth Army HQ on the 26th of March, just in time to participate in the Battle of Rosieres.  The company at this time was composed of 45 officers and 657 other ranks and was roughly equal in manpower to an infantry battalion.  Because of its strength, the company was moved into line in a defensive position to fight as infantry.[35]

By the 2nd of June 1918 the 5th Field Survey Company was with the Fourth Army in the Villers Bretonneux-Albert area[36] and on the 23rd of June Legh was notified that his unit would become a Field Survey Battalion with an organization as previously indicated.[37]

The 5th Field Survey Battalion's next major action after its reorganization was the Battle of Hamel, which took place on the 4th of July 1918.[38]  Legh was appointed Officer Commanding, 5th Field Survey Battalion on the 14th of July 1918 in place of Lieutenant Colonel B.F.E. Keeling who had been severely wounded in action.[39]  The battalion headquarters at this time was located at Ville-le-Marcelet in the Fourth Army area preparing for its final engagement of the war.  On the 8th of August 1918 the battalion played an active role in the Battle of Amiens and by the 1st of September the battalion headquarters was located at Bertangles.  It then moved to Villers Carbonnel on the 21st of September 1918.[40]

Lieutenant Colonel Legh relinquished command of the 5th Field Survey Battalion on the 11th of November 1918 upon declaration of the Armistice.  He was immediately ordered back to England .  He arrived in Maretz on the 12th of November, en route home, and on the 14th of November he attended a conference at Arras .[41] The 5th Field Survey Battalion continued to exist until the 14th of April 1919 when the unit's war diary was closed.

The total deaths suffered by the 5th Field Survey Company/5th Field Survey Battalion numbered 41 during the war.  Of the total, 41 were killed in action, 12 died of wounds and 3 died of disease or by accident.  Broken down by rank, the unit's deaths in the field included 1 Corporal, 1 2nd Corporal, 7 Lance Corporals, 27 Sappers and 5 Pioneers.[42]

NOTE:  The unit’s casualty list may be found in an Addendum to this narrative.

Near the end of the war Legh was mentioned in the despatches of Sir Douglas Haig for his valuable services in the field.  This despatch of the 8th of November 1918 was published in the London Gazette on the 23rd of December 1918.  He was again mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette dated 7 July 1919. 

For his services during the war he was also awarded the Order of the British Empire,[43] the Military Cross,[44] 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal (with m.i.d. oak leaf) and the French Legion of Honour, 5th Class.[45]  All of these medals are in the author's collection. 

Figure 5.  The Medals of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Bertram Legh, O.B.E., M.C., R.E.


            Frank Bertram Legh reverted to his substantive rank of Major in the Royal Engineers on the 10th of February 1919.  On the 15th of February 1919 he received a Class An appointment to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Ordnance Survey.[46]  He served on this Board in London and in Edinburgh from 1919 to 1924. 

The following is a summary of the organization and mission of the Board of Agriculture, later the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, through the period in which Frank Bertram Legh served on the Board.  The Board was responsible for agriculture and for a number of related areas (such as horticulture, fisheries, food and the environment). When first organized in 1889, the Board was known as the Board of Agriculture, a title that it retained until 1903 when it was renamed the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries under the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries Act of 1903.  The year after Legh joined the Board it was again renamed the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, a title it retained until 1955.[47]

In 1903 the Board took over responsibility for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew . It also took over the powers and duties of the Board of Trade, relating to salmon, freshwater and sea fisheries in England and Wales . In 1911 the Department relinquished its Scottish responsibilities to a Board of Agriculture for Scotland . However, it kept responsibility for the control of animal diseases and for the Ordnance Survey. At the beginning of 1917 a Food Production Department was established within the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries with a Director General responsible to the President. Its remaining functions were absorbed by the Board in 1919. In the same year the Board attained Ministry status under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Act 1919. This Act also established a joint Agricultural Advisory Committee for England and Wales and representative Councils of Agriculture for both countries. The Forestry Act 1919 established the Forestry Commission, which absorbed powers and duties related to forestry from the Ministry. The Ministry sponsored a diversity of projects during the next decade including the settlement of ex-servicemen on the land, the containment of pests and disease, and the development of agricultural research and education.  Surely much of the work for which the Board was responsible required surveying tasks of some kind.  It is likely that Legh was employed with such duties.

In 1924 Major Legh was posted to Bulford, on Salisbury Plain, and on the 4th of May 1925 he was assigned to the Reserve of Officers.[48]  On the 31st of December 1925 he was promoted to the substantive rank of Lieutenant Colonel and posted to Bermuda as the Commander Royal Engineers (C.R.E.) on that island.  Legh served in this capacity until the 3rd of May 1927 when he was appointed Acting Commander of Troops in Bermuda with the local rank of Colonel Commandant.  He only held this post until the 1st of September 1927 when he returned to his duties as Commander Royal Engineers. 

On the 22nd of July 1928 Legh was again appointed Commander of Troops in Bermuda , this time with the local rank of Brigadier.  While serving in this capacity he continued his duties as C.R.E. and was also Acting Governor of the island.  His wife was with him in Bermuda and they apparently had a very active social life, with him filling three posts simultaneously.  On the 23rd of August 1928 Brigadier and Mrs. Legh attended an outing of the Establishment of Engineer Services on the island.  The outing took place at Warwick Camp with bathing in Long Bay , as well as swimming races and cricket.[49]

Legh relinquished the post of Commander of Troops in Bermuda on the 16th of October 1928 and returned full-time to his engineer duties.  He retired on half-pay on the 31st of December 1929 and in January of 1930 he was removed from the Royal Engineers List, although he remained on the Active List.[50]


Frank Bertram Legh retired from the Army on the 30th of June 1930.[51]  His total service is summarized in the tables below with approximate dates shown for each location.


Approximate Period of Service

Chatham , Kent

18 August 1900 to March 1903


March 1903 to June 1903

St. Helena

June 1903 to January 1905

Chatham , Kent

January 1905 to June 1907

Belfast , Ireland

June 1907 to January 1908

Dublin , Ireland

January 1908 to June 1912

Edinburgh , Scotland

June 1912 to November 1912

Colombo , Ceylon

November 1912 to October 1914

United Kingdom

October 1914 to December 1914

France and Flanders

December 1914 to November 1918


November 1918 to December 1925


31 December 1925 to 31 December 1929



Approximate Period of Service

Home Service

17 years and 220 days

Service Abroad

11 years and 280 days

Total Service

29 years and 135 days

             On the date of his retirement, Lieutenant Colonel Legh and his wife were living at "Attadale" on Church Lane West in Aldershot , Hampshire.[52]  


Frank Bertram Legh received the following promotions during his time in service:

Date of Promotion or Appointment

 Rank or Position

18 August 1900

Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers

18 August 1903

Promoted Lieutenant

18 August 1910

Promoted Captain

2 November 1916

Promoted Major

14 July 1918

Appointed Acting Lieutenant Colonel

10 February 1919

Reverted to substantive rank of Major

31 December 1925

Promoted Lieutenant Colonel

3 May 1927

Appointed Acting Colonel (local rank)

22 July 1928

Appointed Acting Brigadier (local rank)

31 December 1929

Reverted to substantive rank of Lieutenant Colonel


            The England and Wales Marriage Index Records from 1837 to 1983 show that Frank Bertram Legh was married to Mabel Emily Goldney in Portsmouth, Hampshire in the third quarter of 1904.[53]  Mabel was born at Thayetmyo , Burma on the 21st of October 1880.  Her father, an officer in the Royal Engineers,[54] was at that time taking part in the operations against King Thibaw.  There is no family record of how she spent her childhood years, but she presumably lived the normal life of an army officer’s daughter, traveling round with her parents to various military stations and going to boarding school.  During her first 17 years of life, her parents presented her with six brothers, all of whom eventually joined the Army.[55]  It was at Mauritius , the last of her father’s stations before retiring, that Mabel met Frank, who was a young officer under the command of Mabel’s father at the time.[56]  The Goldneys returned to the U.K. in 1904 and Frank returned from his posting on the island of St. Helena , probably on home leave, when they were married.

            By the time Frank and Mabel were married in 1904, Frank’s father was Vicar of Bishops Caundle in Dorset and Mabel’s father had retired from the army.  The Goldney family was then living in Southsea, with some of Mabel’s brothers already in the army.[57]

            After their wedding, Frank and Mabel went to Killarney in Ireland for their honeymoon.  From the very beginning of their married life they had great difficulty in making ends meet financially, especially as their first child, Phyllis Mabel, was conceived straight away and was born in June of 1905.  By 1907, Frank had been posted to the Ordnance Survey in Ireland , and they lived in the small village of Clondalkin just outside of Dublin .  It was there that Richard Frank Desmond Legh, their second child was born in 1911.  While in Ireland they various visits from Mabel’s parents and some of her brothers, and Frank saw something of his sisters Isabel and Helen and Helen’s husband Harry, who were living in Dublin .[58]

Figure 6.  Back: Lt. Col. W.H. Goldney and Lt. Col. F.B. Legh.
Front: Mrs. Goldney, Phyllis, Richard and Mabel Legh. 

            By 1912 Frank was posted to Ceylon and the whole family moved there, together with one Annie Griffin, who was to become a faithful family retainer.  It was while he was in Ceylon that Frank had an accident when a bridge under construction fell on him.  He recovered satisfactorily and by the autumn of 1914 was recalled to the UK as a result of the outbreak of the Great War.  On the sea voyage from Ceylon the Legh’s ship was chased by the German raider Emden , but escape without damage or casualties.[59]

Figure 7.  The German Cruiser S.M.S. Emden.

            During the years of the Great War Mabel’s parents had settled into a house in Aldershot and remained there for the rest of their lives.  Frank’s father died in 1913 as Vicar of Bishops Caundle.  Frank’s mother moved in with her son Arthur and her youngest daughter Winifred who shared a house at Berkhamsted where Arthur taught at the school there.  Unfortunately Frank’s mother also died just before the outbreak of the war.  Arthur was called up for military service,[60] so there was room for Mabel and her two children on their return from Ceylon .  Mabel and the children lived with Winifred while Frank was in France .[61]

            The next five years were extremely stressful for Mabel, as she was an inveterate worrier, always worrying about her own and other people’s health, or what might happen to Frank or to one of the family.  Mabel produced a still-born baby in 1916, conceived during one of Frank’s home leaves.  The loss of this child caused Mabel’s gloom to only worsen.[62]

            On returning from the war, Frank Legh and his family moved to Edinburgh .  Their daughter Phyllis was by then at boarding school in Bath and only went to Edinburgh for the holidays.  During their time in Edinburgh the Leghs lived in three different rented houses in the suburbs of the city.  Mabel gave birth to a daughter there, Rosemary J.E., in December of 1920.  Mabel was by that time over 40 years old, so it appears that they went on trying to have another baby to replace the one they had lost four years earlier.[63]

            While in Edinburgh , Frank developed a bladder infection and Mabel worried so much about him that one of her brothers, Philip, who was stationed at Glasgow at the time, had to go to Edinburgh to try to calm her down.  Frank recovered quickly from the infection and he and Mabel went off on holiday to Jersey to relax.

            During his posting to Bulford in 1924 the Legh family lived in a hutted quarter, which had been the officers’ mess of some New Zealand troops during the Great War.  Frank and Mabel kept two or three goats in the garden, along with some ducks, although it was their faithful retainer Annie Griffin who did most of the hard work looking after the animals.  By this time their son Richard was away at boarding school and their daughter Phyllis was away at college, so it was only young Rosemary at home with them in Bulford.[64]

            Frank next was posted to Bermuda and they took Rosemary with them.  Special arrangements were made with friends in the U.K. to look after Richard during most of the holidays.  Frank somehow managed for Richard and Phyllis to come to Bermuda for the summer holidays in 1927 and again in 1928.[65]

            Frank and Mabel Legh found Bermuda to be the most enjoyable of their various military postings.  For Frank, as well as being the Commander Royal Engineers, there was the additional quite pleasurable responsibility of acting as Governor of Bermuda and Commander of all the regular troops on the island, with the local rank of Brigadier.  He performed these additional duties for three or four months each year while the Governor was away.  Mabel enjoyed Bermuda because of the climate.  She always hated English winter-type weather, and there was none of that in Bermuda where it never got cold and rarely became too hot.  Although no cars were allowed on the island, Frank and Mabel had their own little motor boat.  During the months when Frank was Acting Governor, they had the use of the Governor’s “Barge” – a much larger motor boat.[66]

            In the summer of 1929 the Leghs returned to England on leave, staying for much of the time in some rented rooms just around the corner from Mabel’s parent’s house in Aldershot .  They returned to Bermuda in the autumn of 1929.[67]

Although the Leghs were living in Aldershot at the time of Frank’s retirement from the Army, Mabel thought that the climate in Devonshire would be a little pleasanter than elsewhere in England.  In the summer of 1930 they took rooms in a farmhouse in Puddington, 14 miles northwest of Exeter , and close to where some friends from Bermuda were then living.  They had not been there long before their son Richard joined them for a summer holiday and developed typhoid fever and had to be hospitalized.  Frank and Mabel decided it would be unwise to remain at the farmhouse and moved to rented accommodation some miles away until Richard was released from hospital.[68]

            After sending their daughter Rosemary off to her first boarding school, Frank, Mabel and Richard spent the rest of the autumn of 1930 visiting various friends and relatives, until they managed to a short lease of a bungalow called “Dilwara” at Broadhembury over Christmas of 1930.  The lease ran out early in 1931 and they moved to rooms in the local inn at Broadhembury.[69]  About that time Mabel had to go into hospital for a hysterectomy.  After her release from hospital they acquired a further 18-month lease of “Dilwara” into which they settled during the summer of 1931.  The lease ended in the autumn of 1932, when they moved for the winter to Grimaud in the south of France in order to miss the English winter that Mabel so disliked.[70]

            Frank had been thinking about finding a job all these months, and had the idea of trying to get one as Secretary of a County Territorial Association.  To help with this, he prepared a very full curriculum vitae with details of his military service, ranks, stations and experiences, supported by letters of recommendation from six men of influence.  It is not known if he got anywhere in his attempt to get a job as Territorial Secretary or whether he was ever offered such a job but had to turn it down because of Mabel’s insistence that they should retire to a warmer climate.  However, events turned out well for them both, because Frank got the offer of a job as Resident Engineer of a Women’s Medical Missionary Hospital at Vellore, near Madras, in southern India, which he accepted, and they moved to India in autumn 1933 with Rosemary.  On arrival at Vellore Frank found that his appointment was really as Bursar of the hospital, and not just as Resident Engineer.[71]  Vellore is a city on the Palar River situated about 80 miles west southwest of Madras.[72]  The Leghs were quite happy and content at Vellore and were largely untouched by the worries of the Second World War.  In 1943 Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Legh’s residence was at College Hill, Vellore, North Arcot District in Southern India. 

Figure 8.  Mabel and Frank Legh in India.  

            After Frank and Mabel’s departure for India their children saw much less of them, but it appeared to their son Richard that they were quite happy and contented at Vellore.  Richard saw them on three occasions during their nine years there.  The first of these occasions was in 1937 when they returned to England on leave that spring.  That was the year when Richard got married in January and he felt at the time that there was a slight air of disapproval on the part of his parents that he and his wife had not put off their wedding until the spring to allow Frank and Mabel to be present during better weather.  During that visit to England both Frank and Mabel developed flu at the same time, and Richard’s wife, Janet, was called forth to nurse them in their rented house at Broadhembury.  Frank and Mabel returned to Vellore in the autumn, calling in on the way to see Rosemary at the Finishing School in Switzerland which she had gone to earlier in the autumn.

            The second time that Richard met them during this phase of their lives was in autumn 1939, when they and Rosemary came over from Vellore to Colombo where Richard and Janet’s first-born son, John, was being christened.  In January 1943, when Richard was on posting from North India to a station in the South, he and Janet called in to stay with Frank and Mabel for a short time at Vellore.  During that stay there was talk of Frank wanting to retire for the second time.  Shortly after that, he did so, and they moved to a house, Forestdale, near Coonoor in the Nilgiris Hills.  While they were there they were very kind to Janet and looked after her before and after the birth of her twins in June 1943.  At some time shortly after that, Frank and Mabel moved again to somewhere on the west coast of India.  Richard, serving in the Army, was in Burma at that time and lost touch with his parents.

            Frank and Mabel returned to England early in 1946.  Their next contact with their son Richard was later in that year when Frank had a job as Treasurer of a Seaman’s Home at Southsea, and they lived in a ground floor flat in the town.  Richard and Janet then were living at Bognor – only about 20 to 25 miles from Southsea, so they and their children saw Frank and Mabel often. 

            But Frank and Mabel were still rather restless, and in September 1947 they sailed for a visit to Bermuda.  This was presumably in order to miss the English winter weather, and to check whether Bermuda still lived up to their memories of it.  They returned briefly from Bermuda in 1948, and then went back to settle there permanently.

            They acquired a small house quite close to the harbour and called it “High Legh” after the ancestral home of the Leghs in Cheshire.  From their letters, they seemed to be living a quiet, contented life.  They were delighted to be back on the Island which they loved.  They managed to return to England about every 3 to 4 years and they always went to stay with Richard and Janet for some of that time.  Frank was rather deaf in those days, and was always being chivvied about his hearing aid batteries. 

            Their last visit was in 1962.  In 1964 Frank had a prostate operation and Rosemary went out to Bermuda to support Mabel.  Finally, Frank died suddenly on the 2nd of January 1966, after only 24 hours in hospital, aged 85.

Figure 9.  The Gravestone of Lt. Col. Frank Bertram Legh, O.B.E., M.C., R.E.  

            This was naturally a terrible blow to Mabel.  They had always been devoted to each other and, during all their 61 years of married life had been separated only during the Great War.  Phyllis, who had just retired from teaching about then, went out to support Mabel, and eventually she returned to England to live in Phyllis’ house in Tunbridge Wells.  Mabel  stayed there for perhaps a couple of years and then had to be moved into a Nursing Home just round the corner from Phyllis’ and Rosemary’s houses.  After a year or so there, she had to be moved again to Ticehurst House Private Clinic at Ticehurst, Wadhurst, Sussex, as she was deteriorating mentally.  Towards the end she did not even recognise her children.

            Mabel Legh died at Ticehurst on Christmas Day 1972, aged 72, by that time, a happy release from her illness.[73]

            Phyllis Legh went on to be the headmistress of a school in Ghana.  She had never married and retired to Tunbridge Wells.  She died in 1993 at Tunbridge Wells.

            Richard (Dick) Legh had been commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1932 and served until 1962.  He had a large family and owned a farm in Ashbourne, Kent after leaving the Army.  He died in Reading and Wokingham District, Berkshire in December 1996. 

            Rosemary had married Walter George Coltham (1918-1971) and lived in Tunbridge Wells and London.  She died in October 1996 in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.



The Leghs were an important, wealthy and powerful family in Cheshire , England .  Over the centuries there were a number of knights in the family and several Sheriffs of Cheshire.  The family seat of Frank Bertram Legh’s branch of the family was Norbury Booths Hall in Knutsford, just south of Manchester .[2]  The house is now the administrative headquarters for a nuclear power company.  The Legh family sold Norbury Booths Hall in 1917.   

There are two other branches of the Legh family, the Leghs of Adlington and the Leghs of Lyme.  Both of these places are in Cheshire and all three family lines connect many centuries ago.  The Legh name is quite rare, so that any person bearing the name will almost certainly be a member of one of the three Legh families.  

The Legh family of Norbury Booths Hall is included in Burkes “Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland ”, as are the other branches of the family.[3]  Christopher Dawson Legh went to Australia in 1863.[4]  Catherine Legh, Frank Bertram Legh’s grandmother, was the daughter of Sir Christopher Robinson, a judge of the High Court of the Admiralty.  He was also a Privy Councillor and a Member of Parliament.  Catherine Legh’s husband was the Reverend Edmund Dawson Legh, who was a barrister before becoming a minister.  He died at the age of 44 in 1845, leaving seven surviving children, with the youngest being only two years old. 




[1] This information was provided by David Legh Craig of Brisbane , Australia on 29 July 2007.  Frank Bertram Legh was the nephew of David’s great-great grandfather, Christopher Dawson Legh, who was the brother of Frank Bertram Legh’s father, the Reverend Henry Edmund Legh.

[2] See the photograph of Norbury Booths Hall at the end of this narrative.

[3] See the Burke’s entries at the end of this narrative.

[4] This is the branch of the family of which David Legh Craig belongs.  

[5] Coat of Arms added to the narrative by E. De Santis.



The information in this Addendum was compiled by Frank Legh’s son, Richard Frank Desmond Legh.  It provides the lineage of the Legh family as compiled by Frank Legh.  It is presented here as it was written by Richard in his own words.  

Some Historical Notes about the Legh Family  


Richard Frank Desmond Legh  


            I have in my possession various papers concerning the Legh Family, handed down to me by my father.  These include a large Family Tree, dated 1809, showing all the ramifications of the various branches of the family, and some notes written, I believe, by my grandmother, Isabella, wife of Henry Edmund Legh round about 1890.  These have enabled me to trace my ancestry through 24 generations to the end of the 11th century.

            My particular branch of the family has descended from a younger son of the Leghs of Booths, near Knutsford, who was born about 1801.  The Leghs of Booths themselves descended from a younger son of the Leghs of High Legh, also in Cheshire, about 1300 A.D.

            The earliest recorded name in my ancestry is one –


            He was alive during the latter half of the 11th century, and was appointed, by deed, Lord of High Legh.  There is some doubt whether his ancestors were Saxon or Norman, but it seems to be most likely that the originator of the Leghs was in the retinue of the Duke of Normandy.

            By about 1154, High Legh had passed to Edward’s son -  


            who had two sons, and apparently divided High Legh estates between them.  To Thomas was given that part of the estate which was from then called East Hall, and to William came West Hall.  And so developed the two main branches of the Legh family.


Left: Legh of East Hall Coat of Arms.  Right: Legh of West Hall Coat of Arms.[5]

(Source: Wikipedia – High Legh web site)

          My progenitor was –


            of West Hall, High Legh, who married the daughter and heiress of Swineyard.  Nothing much seems to be known about their son-


            except that he married Margery, daughter of John Oughtrington, or of their son, another -


            both Richards appear to have been living in the 13th century.  The second of the Richards had only one child, a daughter named –


            who married three times.  Her first marriage was to Richard de Lymme, and their son Thomas took the name of Legh, and inherited his mother’s estates of West Hall, High Legh.  Her second marriage was to William de Hawarden; and her third marriage, from which my branch of the family descended was to Sir William de Venables, who was living in 1300.

            Sir William was a descendant of Gilbert Venables, Baron of Kinderton, who held the town of High Legh in the reign of William the Conqueror, under Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester.  The son of this third marriage, who also took the name of Legh, was –


            He purchased the Manor of Booths, near Knutsford, in 1300 and became the first Legh of Booths.  He married Ellena, daughter of Thomas de Corona of Aldington, who was reputed to have bought in 1336, after her husband’s death, a weekly market and annual fair to be held at Knutsford. 

            John and Ellena had five sons who became, during the first part of the 14th century, the ancestors of the Leghs of Booths, the Leghs of Adlington, the Leghs of Isall, the Leghs of Beckton, and the Leghs of Townley.

            My ancestor of the Booths line was –  


            He married Maud, daughter of Sir John Ardstone of Alford, and by her had two sons, John and James.  John and his wife only produced a daughter, so the Booths estate reverted to his younger brother –


            of whom little is known – not even the name of his wife.  However, it is known that his son –


            was Sheriff of the County of Chester from 1416 – 1422, and by 1429 had a son and heir –


            This John, who at some time was knighted, was a staunch Lancastrian who fell fighting under the Red Rose at Blare Heath in 1459.  He was one of the Cheshire partisans of Queen Margaret.  His son and heir was John, who died in 1470, who also had a son called John who died in 1484 without male issue.  So the estate of Booths reverted to this John’s uncle, who was my ancestor –


            He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Andrew Brereton, and his son and heir became –


            who was knighted at Leith in 1544 with several other Cheshire Gentlemen by General the Earl of Hertford.  He married Jane, daughter of Richard Sneyd of Stafford and died in 1558.  Their son –


            married Jane, daughter of Sir William Brereton, and died in 1617, leaving a family of nine children.  The eldest of these was –


            who married Dorothy, daughter of Geoffrey Shakerley.  Their son –


            was born in 1601 and married three times.  He had a total of 21 children by these three wives, but then he died whilst he was serving as High Sheriff of the County of Cheshire in 1660.  There were only five daughters and two sons still living.  The eldest son, who inherited the estate was –


            He was born in 1657 and married Ruth, daughter of Robert Barcroft.  They had one son who died without issue, so the male line became extinct, but continued through their daughter –


            She married Thomas Pennington, a captain in the Army, and a representative of the younger branch of the Penningtons of Muncaster in the County of Cumberland.  She died in 1715, and was buried in St. Johns, Chester.  Her eldest son –


            assumed the name and arms of Legh of Booths.  He married Helena, daughter of Sir Willoughby Ashton, Bart. And had only one child –


            Who was born in 1722.  His portrait is now (1977) in the possession of Rosemary Beales (nee Legh).  He married Ann, daughter of Peter Wade Esq. of Wallescote in 1744 and in 1745 completed the new mansion of Norbury Booths.

            It is reported that : - “Norbury Booths Hall, situated about a mile S.E. of Nether Knutsford, is placed more than 300 yds from the site of the ancient Hall, which was low and moated round (the moat still remains) and which was an irregular, quadrangular building of timber.  The present house is built of brick, and is a handsome and spacious mansion (much enlarged in 1845).  The Drawing Room 35 by 24 feet and 18 feet high, with the Dining Room and Music Room floored with mahogany.  The park in which it stands is ornamented with some fine pieces of water; the Lake behind the House is the largest; the Water in a wood called Spring Wood, though smaller is more peculiarly beautiful, and is also behind the House.  There are several extensive views from different points; and the prospects from a gravel and grass terrace, 500 yards long, combine many varieties of scenery and hills in Lancashire, Derbyshire and Cheshire.”  The Hall was sold out of the Legh family early this century, and in the 1960s was finally pulled down.

NOTE:  The photograph of Norbury Booths Hall and the map of Knutsford below showing the location of Norbury Booths Hall have been added by the author.

Norbury Booths Hall, Knutsford, Cheshire.  Ancestral Home of the Legh Family.

Map of Knutsford, Cheshire Showing the Location of Norbury Booths Hall.

            Peter Legh and Ann had for sons.  The first two died before their father, and the third, Willoughby, was unmarried.  He succeeded to the Booths estate on the death of his father, Peter, in 1804 but on his own death in 1823, Booths reverted to his younger brother –


            He was born in 1752, and became a Barrister at Law.  In 1792 he married Isabel, daughter of Edmund Dawson, Esq. at St. Dunstans, Fleet Street, London.  He died in 1826, being buried at Knutsford, and the estate passed to his eldest son, Peter, who never married.  Portraits of this Peter and his sister Isabel are also now (1977) in the possession of Rosemary Beales (nee Legh).  John’s third son was my great grandfather –

A Bookplate from Norbury Booths Hall dated 1826. 


            who was born in 1801.  He went into the Church, and became incumbent of St. Botolphs, Aldersgate.  He married Catherine, daughter of Sir Christopher Robinson, and they had eight children.  He died in 1845.  She died in 1873.  Their eldest son John Pennington Legh succeeded to the Booths estate on the death of his uncle, Peter, and the members of the senior line now-a-days often call themselves Pennington-Legh.

The Gravestone of Catherine Legh, Woodbury Park Cemetery, Tunbridge Wells.  

            My grandfather, the sixth child of Edmund and Catherine, was –


            who was born in 1840.  Like his father, he went into the Church, and had livings at Colchester and Bishops Caundle in Dorset.  He married Isabella Grace, daughter of Rev. F. Kite, and died at Bishops Caundle in 1913.  He had seven children, but, of these, my father, who was the fifth child, was the only one to have male issue – myself.  My father was –


            who was born in 1881.  He was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1900, and in 1904 married my mother, Mabel Emily, daughter of Colonel William Henry Goldney – also a Royal Engineers officer.  He served with distinction during the 1914-18 war, being awarded the Military Medal and the French Legion of Honour.  In 1926-29, he served in Bermuda, being acting Governor of Bermuda for part of the time.  After retiring from the Army in 1930, he went to India, where for some 10 years he was Bursar of a Woman’s Medical Missionary Hospital in Vellore.  He died in 1966, and my mother in 1972.  They had three children – my two sisters, Phyllis, born in 1905 and unmarried, and Rosemary, born in 1920 and married in 1940 to Walter George Coltham, and after his death in 1971 to Alan Beales; and myself –


            I was born in 1911.  In 1932 I was commissioned into the Royal Artillery, and served therein until 1962.  In 1937, I married Janet Winifred Steedman, and we have four children.  Susan and Alexander (twins) were born in 1943; Susan married Alan Caswell in 1970, and Alexander married Tina Johnson in 1972.  Alison was born in 1947, and married Tony Evans in 1970.  Our eldest son, through whom the line now continues, is –


            He was born in 1939, and is a solicitor.  In 1971, he married Rosemary Day.  They have two sons; the younger is Christopher Richard Legh, born in 1977; and the elder is –


            who was born in 1974.


Photographs of the Legh Family

The Reverend Henry Edmund Legh, circa 1890, the Father of Frank Bertram Legh.

The Legh Family, circa 1910).  Back row, left to right: Frank Bertram Legh, Edmund Willoughby Legh, Henry Edmund Legh and Arthur Herbert Legh)

The Legh Brothers, circa 1910.  
Standing: Frank Bertram Legh.  Sitting: Edmund Willoughby Legh.  Reclining: Arthur Herbert Legh.  

Christopher Dawson Legh, 1838-1892.  

Two of Christopher Dawson Legh’s children, Gilbert Legh and William Montague (“Monte” Legh went to the Boer War in South Africa in 1900.  Gilbert Legh stayed in South Africa and married and had a family there.  Monte Legh was Mayor of Glen Innes, New South Wales, in 1917-1918.


John Legh, grandfather of David Legh Craig, and first cousin of Frank Bertram Legh.  John Legh was the only child of Christopher Dawson Legh’s third marriage, his first two wives having died in childbirth.  

Joan Mary Legh, mother of David Legh Craig, in her Australian World War 2 uniform.  Joan was a psychotherapist and served in the Middle East during the war.  

Katherine Agnes Legh, aunt of David Legh Craig, in her Australian World War 2 uniform.  She was an occupational therapist (later a social worker) but did not serve outside of Australia during the war.


Thomas Legh (1890-1963), grandson of John Pennington Legh, the eldest brother of the Reverend Henry Edmund Legh.  Thomas Legh served in the Australian Imperial Forces during the Great War.  Two of Thomas Legh’s sons, Alan William Pennington Legh and John Robert Pennington Legh, were Wing Commanders in the Royal Air Force during World War 2.  Alan was missing in action and presumed killed.  John was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and bar.

 “Times” newspaper obituary for John Alan Pennington Legh, brother of Thomas Legh.  He was a Commander in the Royal Navy and died on active service in 1944.  He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.   

A pocket watch belonging to John Legh, the grandfather of David Legh Craig, showing the Legh of Norbury Booths Hall “sword and serpent” crest.  There is a pub in Knutsford Cheshire, near Norbury Booths Hall called the “Legh Arms.”


The LEGH ARMS pub in Knutsford, Cheshire.


The LEGH ARMS pub sign and the LEGH ARMS sword and serpent.  


The Great War Medal Cards of Frank Bertram Legh.  

Medal Index Card, front side.  

Medal Index Card, back side.  

1914-15 Star Medal Roll.

British War Medal and Victory Medal Roll.  

Mention in Despatches Card, London Gazette, 1 January 1916.  

Mention in Despatches Card, London Gazette, 11 December 1917.  

Mention in Despatches Card, London Gazette, 23 December 1918.  


Casualties of the 5th Field Survey Company and 5th Field Survey Battalion during the Great War of 1914-1918  



The Post Great War Travels of Frank and Mabel Legh.  

The following information was obtained from ship manifests found on Ancestry.com.   

  1. Sailed from Hamilton, Bermuda on the 23rd of October 1928 aboard S.S. Bermuda.


  1. Sailed from Hamilton, Bermuda on the 25th of May 1929 aboard S.S. Fort Victoria.

  1. Sailed from New York to London on S.S. London Merchant arriving in London on the 11th of June 1929.  This appears to have been a cargo ship with some passenger compartments available.


  1. Sailed from St. John’s Newfoundland on the 6th of September 1929 bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia and Boston on aboard S.S. Newfoundland.


  1. Sailed from St. John’s Newfoundland on the 14th of September 1929 aboard S.S. Fort St. George.


  1. Sailed from Bermuda on the 28th of April 1930 aboard S.S. Western World.

  1. Sailed from Kingston and Bermuda on board S.S. Motagua and arrived at Avonmouth on the 25th of June 1930.


  1. Sailed from London on the 11th of November 1933 aboard S.S. Dumana bound for Calcutta, India.


  1. Sailed from Rangoon, Burma on board M.V. Cheshire and arrived at Tilbury, London on the 24th of April 1937.


  1. Sailed from Bombay, India on board S.S. Burma and arrived at Liverpool on the 5th of December 1945.

  1. Sailed from Southampton aboard R.M.S. Queen Mary and arrived at New York on the 9th of September 1947.


  1. Sailed from Hamilton, Bermuda aboard S.S. Fort Amherst on the 1st of March 1948 bound for New York.


  1. Sailed from New York aboard R.M.S. Queen Mary and arrived at Southampton on the 10th of March 1948.


  1. Sailed from Avonmouth on the 12th of August 1948 aboard R.M.S. Bayano bound for Bermuda and Jamaica.

  1. Sailed from Liverpool on the 10th of July 1952 aboard M.V. Reina Del Pacifico bound for the west coast of South America.


  1. Sailed from Southampton on the 6th of October 1956 aboard R.M.S.Mauretania and arrived at New York on the 12th of October 1956.

  1. Sailed from New York on board S.S Queen of Bermuda on the 13th of October 1956 bound for Hamilton, Bermuda.


  1. Arrived from Bermuda at the Port of Liverpool on the 17th of August 1959 aboard M.V. Santander.

  1. Departed from London on the 6th of November 1959 aboard R.M.S. Essequibo bound for Bermuda.



  1. There are 19 voyages listed above.  Since the voyages are based on the ship manifests found on Ancestry.com, it is uncertain whether these were all the voyages made by Legh family.
  2. The voyages are listed below (by number) indicating who was on each ship.

Frank: 6

Mabel: 10  

Frank and Mabel: 1, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,18, 19  

Frank, Mabel and Rosemary: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9  

Frank, Mabel, Phyllis and Rosemary: 7 



1. CHASSEAUD, P.  Artillery's Astrologers: A History of British Survey and Mapping on the Western Front, 1914-1918.  Mapbooks, Lewes, 1999.  

2. INNES, J.R.  Flash Spotters and Sound Rangers.  George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London , 1935.  

3. MERRIAM WEBSTER.  Geographical Dictionary, Springfield , MA , 1997.  

Census Data  

1. 1861 Census of England .  Source Information RG9/492. Registration District: Tunbridge.  Sub-Registration District: Tunbridge Wells.  Enumeration District 8c, Folio 7, Page 8, Household Schedule No. 32, GSU Number 542648.  

2. 1881 Census of England .  Family History Library Film 1341237, Public Record Office Reference RG11, Piece 1000, Folio 122, Page 16.  

3. 1901 Census of England . Source Information RG13/738.  Registration District: Medway.  Sub-Registration District: Gillingham .  Enumeration District: St. Mary Barracks, Folio 70, Page 1, Household Schedule No. 1.  

Computer Databases  

Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-19. The Naval & Military Press Ltd., Heathfield, East Essex , 1998.  


1.   Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth, General Register Office, London , BXA 500316.  Registration District: Dover , Sub-district of Saint James in the County of Kent , dated 1 October 1979.  

2. LEGH, R.  An Outline of the Lives of Frank and Mabel Legh – 1880-1972.  An unpublished document produced by their son, Richard Legh.   

Internet Web Sites  

1. Ancestry.com - England & Wales , Free BMD Marriage Index: 1837-1983.
2. The National Archives ( U.K. ).  http://www.ndad.nationalarchives.gov.uk/AH/4/detail.html.


A-Z Street Atlas, Aldershot , Camberley, Farnborough and Farnham.  Geographers' A-Z Map Company Limited, Sevenoaks , Kent 


1. London Gazette, Supplement No. 29422, 1 January 1916, p. 24.  

2. London Gazette, Supplement No. 29886, 1 January 1917, p. 37.  

3. London Gazette, Supplement No. 30184, 14 July 1917, p. 7093.  

4. London Gazette, Supplement No. 30427, 14 December 1917, p. 13079.  

5. London Gazette, Supplement No. 31080, 20 December 1918, p. 15039.  

6. London Gazette, 23 March 1973.  

7. Official Army (Gradation) List, January 1911, p. 996.  

8. Monthly Army Lists, April to June 1903, p. 457.  

9. Monthly Army List, April to June 1907, p. 456.  

10. Monthly Army List, October to December 1910, p. 455. 

11. Monthly Army List, October to November 1911, p. 455. 

12. Monthly Army List, December 1911, p. 456.  

13. Monthly Army List, December 1912, p. 799.  

14. Monthly Army List, April 1914, p. 798.  

15. Monthly Army List, June 1919.  

16. Monthly Army List, December 1920.  

17. Monthly Army List, June 1926.  

18. Monthly Army List, November 1926.  

19. Quarterly Army List, October to December 1920.  

20. Half-Yearly Army List for the Half-Year Ending 21 December 1922, p. 732.  

21. Royal Engineers Monthly List, January to December 1905, p. xii.  

22. Royal Engineers Monthly List, January to December 1908, pp. xii and xxvi.  

23. Royal Engineers Monthly List, January to December 1910, pp. xi and xxii.  

24. Royal Engineers Monthly List, January to October 1912, pp. x and xxii.  

25. Royal Engineers Monthly List, November and December 1912, pp. x and xxiii.  

26. Royal Engineers Quarterly List, January 1930.  

27. Royal Engineers Quarterly List, April 1930.  

28. Royal Engineers Quarterly List, July 1930.  

29. Royal Engineers Quarterly List, April 1931.  

30. Royal Engineers Quarterly List, October 1932.  

31. Royal Engineers Quarterly List, October 1933.  

32. Royal Engineers List, 1943.  

33. Royal Engineers List, 1962.  

34. Royal Engineers List, 1970.  

35. Royal Engineers Journal.  Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers. The Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham, Kent, 1925-1932.  

36. Royal Engineers Journal, December 1989.  

37. The Sapper, November 1914, p. 83.  

38. The Sapper, October 1928.  

Research Works  

GASE, S.  Company Moves of the Royal Engineers.  West Drayton, Middlesex, 2003.


[1] Officially Royal Tunbridge Wells.

[2] Charlton is located in the Greater London area, approximately 2 miles due east of Greenwich .

[3] It should be noted that Catharine Legh and her family could not be found in the 1871 Census of England.

[4] Henry and Isabella would eventually have a total of seven offspring.

[5] Frank Bertram Legh's birth was registered on the 26th of October 1881 by one H.G. Pain, Registrar.

[6] LEGH, R., p. 1.

[7] Gradation List, January 1911, p. 996.

[8] Monthly Army List, April 1903, p. 457.

[9] An island in the Indian Ocean located about 450 miles east of Madagascar .  Mauritius was discovered by the Portuguese early in the 16th century, occupied by the Dutch from 1598 to 1710, held by the French from 1715 to 1810 and captured by the British in 1810 to protect shipping during the wars with France .  The island was formally ceded to Britain in 1814.

[10] St. Helena was discovered in May of 1502 by a Portuguese navigator.  It was first visited by the English in 1588 and was granted to the British East India Company in 1659.  St. Helena was the French Emperor Napoléon's place of exile from 1815 to 1821.  The island declined in importance as a port of call after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

[11] Monthly Army Lists, May and June 1903, p. 457.

[12] Official Army (Gradation) List, January 1911, p. 996.

[13] Royal Engineers Monthly List, January 1905, p. xii.

[14] Monthly Army List, June 1907, p. 456.

[15] Royal Engineers Monthly List, January 1908, pp. xii and xxvi.

[16] Royal Engineers Monthly List, April 1912, pp. x and xxii.

[17] Gradation List, January 1911, p. 996.

[18] The Sapper, November 1914, p. 83.

[19] INNES, J.R., p. 12.

[20] The London Gazette Supplement No. 29422, dated 1 January 1916.

[21] CHASSEUD, P., p. 94.

[22] This supposition is based on the fact that Legh is subsequently mentioned in the actions of the 5th FSC as discussed in Peter Chasseud's book.

[23] Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers.

[24] Monthly Army List, December 1920.

[25] The London Gazette, Supplement No. 29886, 1 January 1917, p. 37.

[26] CHASSEUD, P., p. 256.

[27] Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers.

[28] Ibid.

[29] The London Gazette, Supplement No. 30427, 14 December 1917, p. 13079.

[30] CHASSEUD, P., p. 337.

[31] During this period Peter Chasseud states that an unnamed subordinate of Legh's describes Legh as "quite tame but is evidently a strait-laced person."

[32] CHASSEUD, P., p. 441.

[33] Ibid., p. 391.

[34] Ibid., p. 441.  Although he was appointed to this position, it appears that Keeling was still in command of the company at this time.

[35] Ibid., p. 393.

[36] Ibid., p. 429.

[37] Ibid., p. 444.  Lieutenant Colonel Keeling commanded the battalion upon its organization.

[38] Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers.

[39] Lieutenant Colonel Keeling died shortly after the war as a result of his wounds.

[40] CHASSEUD, P., pp. 444, 448, 469 and 471.

[41] Ibid., p. 476.

[42] Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-19.

[43] The Monthly Army List, December 1920, p. 796.

[44] London Gazette, 1 January 1917, p. 37.

[45] Legion d'Honneur, Croix de Chevalier.  London Gazette, 14 July 1917, p. 7093.

[46] Monthly Army List, June 1919, p. 2525.

[47] Further redesignation of the Board, to include amalgamation with other government departments were as follows: The Ministry of Food (1916-1955), The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1955-2001), and The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2001- ). A Board or Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture and Internal Improvement was constituted by Royal Charter in 1793 and wound up in 1822. It was succeeded in 1838 by the English Agricultural Society (renamed the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 1840). The Board and the Society aimed to improve farming practice in England . Neither was really a government department, although the Board received an annual grant from the Exchequer.

    Between 1836 and 1841 the government set up three bodies of Commissioners to deal with particular questions of land tenure: the Commissioners for Tithe, the Enclosure of Common Land, and the Enfranchisement of Copyhold Land. The three bodies were merged in 1882 to form a Land Commission of England responsible to the Home Secretary.

    The Cattle Plague Department was established in 1865 to deal with an epidemic of the cattle plague known as rinderpest. At first the Department was a branch of the Home Office. It transferred to the Privy Council in 1866. In 1870 its title was changed to the Veterinary Department. In 1883 it became the Agricultural Department and took over from the Board of Trade's responsibility for the publication of the annual agricultural statistics. The statistics were collected by the Board of Inland Revenue.

    The Board of Agriculture Act 1889 established a Board of Agriculture, which took over the powers, and duties of the Land Commissioners and those of the Agricultural Department. It was given responsibility also for the Ordnance Survey, the collection and preparation of agricultural (and forestry) statistics, and for agricultural and forestry research and education. The Board never met. Its powers were exercised by the President.

[48] Royal Engineers Quarterly List, July 1930, p. xxv.

[49] The Sapper, October 1928, p. 72.

[50] Royal Engineers Quarterly List, January 1930, pp. iii and xxviii.

[51] Royal Engineers Quarterly List, July 1930, p. xxv.

[52] Church Lane West is located on the west side of the town of Aldershot between Grosvenor Road and York Road .

[53] Richard Legh’s account of his parent’s life indicates that they were married at Southsea on the 13th of September 1904 and that Mabel’s twin brother, the Reverend R.P. Goldney officiated at the wedding.

[54] William Henry Goldney.  Lieutenant, 15-12-1871; Captain, 15-12-1883;  Major, 3-8-1890 and Lieutenant Colonel, 26-5-1898.

[55] George Francis Bennett Goldney is thought to have been one of these brothers.  He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on the 23rd of June 1898 and was promoted to Lieutenant on the 14th of February 1901.  He saw active service in the South African War of 1899-1902.  The Monthly Army List for April 1914 also lists the following five officers named Goldney:

·         Lieutenant C. Le B. Goldney, Army Service Corps.

·         Lieutenant H.W. Goldney, Royal Artillery.

·         2nd Lieutenant L.P. Goldney, Royal Artillery.

·         Captain P.C. Goldney, Army Service Corps.

·         2nd Lieutenant R.M. Goldney, Royal Artillery.

[56] LEGH, R., p. 1.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Ibid.

[59] Ibid., p. 2.

[60] The Monthly Army List of April 1914 shows a Major A.M.R. Legh serving with the Cheshire Yeomanry, Territorial Force.  It is not known if this was Frank’s brother Arthur.

[61] LEGH, R., p. 2

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Ibid.

[67] Ibid., p. 3.

[68] Ibid.

[69] In April of 1931 his mailing address was c/o Lloyds Bank Ltd. at 6 Pall Mall, London , S.W.1.

[70] LEGH, R., p. 3.

[71] While they were living abroad Legh used Lloyds Bank as their mailing address.  Legh continued to use his Lloyds mailing address until 1935.

[72] Vellore is the site of a temple to Siva as well as a strong fortress built in the 14th century.  The town was occupied by the British in 1760 and withstood a two-year siege by the Indian ruler Hyder Ali.  After 1799 the town became the residence of the sons of Tipu Sultan who instigated a mutiny there in 1806.  

[73] London Gazette, 23 March 1973.