Private Alfred Leyland, 2689285 in 10th Hussars

1902 Alfred Leyland was born in St.Helens, Lancashire

1911 census living at 35 Halefield St, St Helens, Lancashire.

1920 Jul 19. He enlisted into the Scots Guards (hence his non-cavalry 26 - number) for three years at Liverpool, aged 18 years 10 months. 

1921 Feb 18. After his basic training Guardsman Leyland was sent to Wimbledon and on this date he was charged with ‘having kit in bad order for Commanding Officer’s inspection’ and awarded two days confined to camp. 

1921 Feb 23. A week later Guardsman Leyland made a formal request to be transferred to the 18th Hussars, then stationed at Secunderabad, India.  This would allow him to complete his service alongside his brother, 537661 L/Sgt J Leyland.  The transfer request was duly authorised by the office of the General Officer Commanding London District, Horse Guards, on March 7th under section 333 (IV) of Kings Regulations.

1921 May 8. The next entry in the file is a record of Leyland absenting himself on or around May 8th 1921 not from the 18th Hussars in India but instead from the 10th Hussars, then on active service in Ireland and to whom Leyland had been posted – despite his agreed transfer to the 18th and presumably much against his will - on February 24th.  The charge sheet shows that Leyland’s period of enlistment had now been lengthened from the initial three years to seven.

1921 May 13. Pte. Leyland received 56 days from the Officer commanding 14th Infantry Brigade on May 13th, 30 days of which were remitted. Tried by Army Field General Court Martials, he was recorded as having been convicted of being absent without leave whilst on active service and of using insubordinate language to two Non-Commissioned Officers on May 13th of that year.  He was sentenced to 56 days at Curragh Camp, Ireland, of which 30 were remitted. 

1921 Jun 5. Leyland would have been released from his period of detention.  If he was returned to active duties he would have taken part in the Regiments operations against the IRA in and around Ballimore and Ashfort which commenced that day and lasted through until June 16th.  He may also have taken part in the state opening of the Northern parliament.

1921 Jul 26. Died age 19 at Naas. Son of Mr Ellis Leyland, of 45 Hallfield Street, St. Helens, Lancs.

His death certificate stated that Leyland had died from ‘gunshot wounds; self inflicted whilst of unsound mind’ and ‘certificate received from Military Court of Enquiry, inquest held 28th July 1921’. No details of the circumstances of his suicide are given in his file but his death was reported to the Army Pay Office at Canterbury on July 28th.  The files on Military Courts of Enquiry in Ireland held at the PRO are closed until 2022.

He is buried at Curragh Camp Military Cemetery. 

British soldiers died in Ireland