Sergeant 42160 West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 17th Battalion, 2nd Leeds Pals, Bantams

David McLeman was born in Berwick upon Tweed in 1889 to Alexander McLeman and Sarah White. His parents had married in Ayton on 1st September 1868. They had nine children in total, of whom David was the youngest. All nine children survived through to adulthood – Sarah J, William, Agnes, Alexander, Mary, John, Robert, Louisa and David Lindsay. At the time David was born, they were living at 39 Castlegate, Berwick, but by 1901 they had moved to Gateshead – 18 Leopold Street and then to 50 Sunderland Road by 1911. (Source: 1901, 1911 Census)

In 1911, Alexander was a saddler and David was a railway engine stoker. (Source: 1911 Census)

His service records are sadly missing, but one record of him that remains is the London Gazette of 19th August 1919. In this, his citation for the Military Medal is recorded, awarded for ‘bravery in the field.’ In addition to this, he would also have received the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He was first the Lance Corporal in charge of No. 1 Section, but by 1919 he had been promoted to Sergeant in the 17th Battalion. This was the 2nd Leeds Pals and had originally been a Bantam Battalion. (Source: London Gazette, Aug 1919)

It is not known what happened to him once the war was over, as there are few records which mention a D. McLeman – and it is not always known if this refers to David or not. There is a record that states that a David McLeman was a passenger on the SS Sicilian, bound for Quebec; but his age is not given here. If he remained in the UK, it is possible that he died in Gateshead in 1964. There is no marriage recorded which could be attributed to him.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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