LEACH Cyril Alfred Henry
Regiment : H.M.S. Barham Royal Navy
Service number : PJX16322
Conflict : WW2
Date of death : 25th March 1943 aged 19
Buried : Redditch (Abbey Road) Cemetery, Worcestershire, England, Plot 4. Row A.K. Grave 34.
Relatives : Son of John and Lillian Leach, of Redditch
Memorial : Redditch War Memorial
HMS Barham was hit on the port side by three torpedoes from the German submarine U-331 on 25th November 1941. Her magazine exploded within minutes and she sank rapidly with the loss of over 860 lives. The enormous black cloud from the explosion covered her sinking so the Germans were unaware of the loss of the ship, allowing the Admiralty to generate false intelligence. The families of those killed were notified and requested not to discuss the loss of the battleship with anyone. The loss of the ship was finally announced by the Admiralty on 27th January 1942.
It is possible that Cyril Leach was a survivor of the sinking of HMS Barham in November 1941 and subsequently died in March 1943 as a result of injuries received during the attack.