(x) A 'Battle of Arras 1917' M.C. and 'Bombay 1945' O.B.E. group of five awarded to Lieutenant J. W. T. Leith, who entered the Great War as an enlisted man and was wounded in action twice in 1917
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Military Division, G.VI.R., Officer's breast Badge (O.B.E.), silver-gilt; Military Cross, G.V.R., the reverse engraved 'Arras J.W.T. Leith Gordon Highrs 9-4-17'; 1914-15 Star (3-6302 L-Cpl. J. W. T. Leith, A.&S. Highrs.); British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut. J. W. T. Leight.),
Condition polished, pitting, contact marks, nearly very fine
O.B.E. London Gazette 14 June 1944
M.C. London Gazette 18 June 1917, the original citation states:
'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led his company in the most gallant manner, and was largely responsible for the success of the operations. He set a splendid example to his men.'
John Wannen Tait Leith was born at Greenrock, Renfrewshire in 1898, the son of James and Anne Leith of 6 Morton Terrace, Greenrock. Entering the war in France with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on 9 July 1915, Leith was accepted for a Commission, leaving his unit on 31 October 1916. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant with the 8th/10th Battalion Gordon Highlanders he was awarded his M.C. for gallantry during the Battle of Arras. Leith did not escape the fighting unscathed however. An entry in the Hamilton Advertisor on 5 May 1917- prior to the award of the M.C.- states that he was:
'admitted to a Manchester Hospital suffering from the effects of gas and a severe shell wound.'
... Surviving his wounds Leith continued to serve only to be wounded again the next year with the same newspaper stating on 13 April 1918:
'He was shot through the right breast in the fighting on 29th ult. and is presently in a clearing station in France.'
Again surviving his injuries Leith was promoted Lieutenant on 7 May 1918 and served in this rank until 10 November 1920 when he was transferred to the reserve. Serving with the 6th Battalion, Cameronians he was again promoted Lieutenant on 28 June 1921. Transferred from the active list on 8 February 1928 he rejoined at the start of the Second World War but resigned his commission on 14 February 1940. Awarded his O.B.E. on 14 June 1944 in the same Gazette as many awards for those who responded to the Bombay Harbour Fire on 14 April 1945. Given that Leith's role at the time was with the War Risks Insurance Advisory Committee it is likely the award was related to this. He died in Queensland, Australia, on 22 April 1956
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