Fallen in June 1916:
Leman Patterson
James Henley


117468 Corporal 

2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion 

  Killed in Action Friday, 2nd June 1916

Remembered with Honour, Ypres (Menin Gate Memorial), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Panel 3

Leman Patterson was born in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire on Saturday, 19th August 1893 and baptised the following month on Sunday, 17th September at St Mary’s Church, Apsley End. He was the youngest child born to Leonard Patterson and Annie Shaw and he had five siblings who were: Ralph, Annie, Kate, Leonard and Francis George. His sister Annie married Frank Holt who was also killed in the Great War.

When he was born, Leman’s family lived in the Bailiff’s House, Rucklers Lane at Shendish Manor where his father Leonard was the ‘Farm Bailiff’. As the farm bailiff, Leonard would have been responsible for the general management of the estate including the supervision of any farm workers and may even have managed the farm in the absence of the farmer/owner.

Leman received his education initially at Apsley Boys school, before transferring to Berkhamsted School in January 1906. He left Berkhamsted in 1909 when his family emigrated to Canada and settled in Red Deer in Alberta approximately two hours north of Calgary. It appears that Leonard went there to farm and by 1911 he and his four sons are recorded on the Canadian Census as ‘Farmers’.

Leman’s father died in 1913 and by 1916 his brother Frank had taken on the running of the farm and Leonard and Leman worked for him.

On the outbreak of war, Leman’s brother Leonard was the first to enlist in September 1915 but Leman followed shortly afterwards on the 11th January 1915 when he joined the Canadian Over-seas Expeditionary Force and was posted to the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles (British Columbia Regt).

The Battalion embarked for Great Britain on the 12th June 1915 and spent some time in Shorncliffe near Folkestone before going to France where it disembarked on the 22nd September as part of the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Brigade.

Leman first saw action at the Battle of Mont Sorrel (Battle of Hill 62) which was a local operation in the Ypres Salient, from the 2nd to the 13th June 1916. Casualties were high on both sides with the Germans losing 5,765 men and the Canadian Corps suffering 8,430 losses. Leman was one of the Canadian casualties and he was killed on the first day of the battle Friday, 2nd June 1916.

The Canadian Corps’ participation is commemorated with the Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Memorial.

Leman is commemorated at St Mary’s Church, Apsley End as well as on his parent’s gravestone in Canada, along with his brother-in-law Frank Holt who was killed in April 1918.

Leman is Remembered with Honour on the Ypres (Menin Gate Memorial), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Panel 32.

He was 22 years old when he died.

Leman was eligible for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.

Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Memorial (Courtesy: Traquair Photography 5th Nov. 2016)

Red Deer Cemetery, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada (Courtesy: https://www.findagrave.com)

Ypres (Menin Gate Memorial), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium (CWGC)


4533 Private

1st Bn., Hertfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action Saturday, 17th June 1918

Remembered with Honour, Gorre British and Indian Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, Grave 1. A. 19.

James Percy Henley was born in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire in the summer of 1893, the sixth child of James Henley and Emma Ounsworth. He had eight siblings in all, five older who were; Emily, John, Nellie, Carrie May, Anne and three younger; Dorothy Grace, Clarice Minnie and finally Laura Nora. His sister Nellie died in 1915 only a year before James.

James grew up in Tring where his family lived on Henry Street and his father worked as a ‘Coachman’ for the Rothchild family at Tring Park Mansion, where he also undertook casual gardening work. James’ older brother John worked at Tring Park Mansion as a Gardener as well.

In around 1906 the family moved to Boxmoor near Hemel Hempstead and settled at 35 Pullar Road in the village. Thirteen-year-old James had started work at Dickinson & Co. Limited in Apsley Mills and worked in the Card Department and in the next few years, three of his sisters also joined Dickinsons and worked in the Envelope Department.

On the outbreak of war James requested permission to enlist from his employer and was given leave to do so in December 1914. He enlisted at Hemel Hempstead the following month, January 1915 and joined the Hertfordshire Regiment. He was sent to Hertford to the 3/1st Battalion to undergo his basic training which he completed six months later.

James was sent to France and disembarked there on the 10th July 1915 and joined the 2 Company, 1st Battalion Herts in the billets at Montmorency Barracks, Bethune on the 14th July. Within two weeks he had his first experience in the trenches at Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée and saw his fist action at the Battle of Loos in September 1915. James survived this dreadful engagement where nine other Hemel men lost their lives and following the Battle of Loos; he saw out 1915 with his comrades north-east of Bethune.

By June 1916 the 1st Herts was still at Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée and continuing the cycle of trench relief duties without significant enemy engagement. During one such stint in the trenches James was unfortunately killed when a shell burst amongst a group of men who were eating lunch during a quiet spell. He died along with one other man on Saturday, 17th June 1916.

His death was reported in the Hemel Gazette a few weeks later when it published letters of condolence his family had received from his C.O. and his Sergeant. (see extract)

He is commemorated on the John Dickinson & Co. Limited Memorial in Apsley.

James is Remembered with Honour in Gorre British and Indian Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France where he is interred in Grave 1.A.19. The inscription on his headstone requested by his mother Emma reads: “THY WILL BE DONE”

He was 22 years old when he died.

James was eligible for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.

Gorre British and Indian Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France (Courtesy: CWGC)

Pte. James Henley c1915 (Courtesy: The Hertfordshire, Hemel Hempstead Gazette and West Herts Advertiser)

Apsley Mills where James and his sisters worked (Courtesy: The endless web: John Dickinson & Co Ltd 1804-1954, 1955, Joan Evans)

Extract from The Hertfordshire, Hemel Hempstead Gazette and West Herts Advertiser 1st Jul. 1916