Researched and written by Anne Wright
Pte W L Legg
Army Service Corps
(Walter) Laurence Legg’s short life began on 9 April 1895 in Weybridge. He was baptised a few weeks later on 19 May at St. James’ Church where his parents, Walter and Sarah Jane (nee Taylor) had married on 3 February 1894. They hailed from Dorset and Somerset respectively. Walter was a plumber who as a part of Legg Bros. ran his own business. Laurence’s brother, Sidney Thomas, was born less than a year after his sibling. The family home in 1901 was at Homer Cottage in Dorchester Road. They were still there in 1911 by which time Laurence and Thomas had joined the family firm as plumber’s mates.
The two brothers joined the Army Service Corps (ASC) which provided the transportation of food, equipment and ammunition for the army; both enlisted at Bulford in Wiltshire. Thomas’ Service Record has survived but not Laurence’s. However, Laurence’s Medal Index Card confirms that like his brother he entered the Egyptian theatre of war on 14 April 1915. The S4 in front of his service number indicates that he joined the 4th New Army in an ASC supply unit but his headstone refers to him being part of a Mechanised Transport (MT) section in the 29th Division. This division served in the Gallipoli Campaign from April 1915 to January 1916. Having left Avonmouth in March 1915 their first units arrived at Alexandria on 7 April. They soon re-embarked for the deep water port of Mudros on the island of Imbros to the south of the Gallipoli peninsula which was to be used as their forward base; a Field Ambulance, airfield, administrative and stores buildings were constructed. The 29th landed on Cape Helles beaches (on the southern tip of the peninsula) on 25 April.
At some point before October 1915 Laurence returned home. He died of multiple neuritis (perhaps more commonly referred to today as polyneuritis; a widespread inflammation of nerves with a variety of causes) and congested lungs in the 5th Southern General Hospital in Southsea on 3 October. His father was present. Laurence’s body was brought back to Weybridge for burial in the Walton & Weybridge Cemetery (2276) in Walton Lane. Sidney Legg (M2/034775) survived the war and was living with his parents in 1921 at their home in Baker Street. He died, aged just 33, in 1929. Walter and Sarah Jane Legg divorced in the 1920s; she remarried to Frederick Edward Eagles in Canada in 1930. Sarah Jane survived into her nineties. Walter Legg remained in Surrey and died in 1949.
Beard Family Tree, www.ancestry.co.uk
The British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918, The Long, Long Trail – The Army Service Corps in the First World War, www.longlongtrail.co.uk
British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920, www.ancestry.co.uk
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007, www.ancestry.co.uk
Death Certificate of Walter Laurence Legg, General Register Office
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, www.ancestry.co.uk
Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms 1813-1912, www.ancestry.co.uk
Surrey, England, Electoral Registers 1832-1962, www.ancestry.co.uk
Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages 1754-1937, www.ancestry.co.uk