Benjamin Eastlake Leader (1877-1916)
Captain Benjamin Eastlake Leader was born in 1877 in Worcester, Worcestershire, the son of Benjamin Williams Leader and his wife Mary Eastlake. Benjamin’s father was a highly regarded landscape artist and member of the Royal Academy. His mother was the daughter of William Eastlake and Caroline Harris of Plymouth, a prominent family of attorneys and artists including her great uncle Charles Lock Eastlake, first Director of the National Gallery. Benjamin followed in his parents’ footsteps, studying at Charterhouse and Trinity College Cambridge, as well as further studies at Bushey and Newlyn. He sold his first painting in 1904 and became a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. Benjamin married Isabella Anderson in Glasgow in 1910. He volunteered his services for World War I and became a Lieutenant in the Queens’ (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 3rd Battalion in 1914. He left for France in January of 1915 and was promoted to Captain in May of that year.
Benjamin was killed in action on 17 June 1916 at the Battle of Le Transloy on the Western Front. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and is commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial in France and in the church of St Buryan, Cornwall. Benjamin and Isabella’s son Benjamin John Leader would later lose his life as a Royal Air Force Pilot Officer in World War II.
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‘Benjamin Eastlake Leader’, UK DeRuvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1919, Ancestry, http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=60454, [accessed 3 Jul 2016].
‘Battle of Le Transloy’, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Le_Transloy, [accessed 3 Jul 2016].
‘Lost Faces of Somme soldiers …’, Mirror 28 Jan 2016, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/lost-faces-somme-soldiers-found-7262431, [accessed 3 Jul 2016].
‘British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920’, Ancestry, http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=1262, [accessed 3 Jul 2016].
Benjamin Eastlake Leader, ‘Newlyn Harbour’ (feature image), accessed at WikiGallery, http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_364845/Benjamin-Eastlake-Leader/Newlyn-Harbour, [accessed 3 Jul 2016].
Benjamin Eastlake Leader, ‘Study of the Cornish Coast’, accessed at ArtUK, Creative Commons Licence, http://artuk.org/discover/artists/leader-benjamin-eastlake-18771916, [accessed 3 Jul 2016].