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Leslie Browning Panchaud was born on 2nd November 1892 at Forest Gate in London. His father was Robert A Panchaud, a director of Public Companies, and his mother was Mary E. Panchaud.

In 1901, the family were living at 9 Sprowston Road, West Ham. Leslie had five brothers, two of which were deaf from birth. He had also had one sister.

When war broke out in 1914 Leslie was 22 years and living with his parents at 15 Hazeldene Road, Goodmayes, Essex. He enlisted in the ranks of the Territorial Force on 30th November 1914 and joined the 2nd Battalion of the 14th London Regiment (The London Scottish) as a Private with the number 4018.

The medical officer described Leslie as standing 5ft 4.75in tall with a 34in chest and being of good physical development.

On 21st October 1915 he was accepted for a commission into the Notts and Derby Regiment, the Sherwood Foresters and one year later he transferred to the 8th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment who were part of the 7th Brigade in the 25th Division.

Upon joining the Loyals, preparations were being made for an attack on the high ground known as “The Mounds” immediately north of the Stuff Redoubt. However, before this attack was launched, the Germans made a very determined attempt at recapturing Stuff Redoubt on the evening of the 12th October using special `Storm Troops`. They managed to gain a footing at one point of the line but after suffering many casualties they were finally ejected. The 8th Battalion had also incurred many casualties in this action; Captain E.S. Underhill was killed, 2/Lt J.F. Holden died of wounds, Captain H.D. Copeman M.C. and Lieutenant L.B. Panchard were wounded, and eighty eight other ranks were killed or wounded.

Lieutenant Panchaud had sustained gun shot wounds to his chest and left leg and was evacuated home from Le Havre to Southampton on the hospital ship HMHS Asturias for treatment. He proceeded on leave for one month, his wounds originally recorded as being ‘slight’.

Hospital Ship Asturias

Hospital Ship Asturias

A medical board sat sometime later and wrote;

The board find that he still walks with a limp and is somewhat nervous. The pain that occasionally complains in the chest is in the opinion of the board chiefly nervous in character. There is nothing in the condition of his knee found which should lead to permanent incapacity.

On 1st April 1917 Leslie married Olive May Stoneman and received a £250 wound gratuity that June. Leslie was promoted to Lieutenant on 1st July 1917 and was posted into the 97th Training Reserve Battalion at Barrosa Barracks, Aldershot where he was employed as the Messing Officer until being returned to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancs in Septmeber for being unable to fulfill his duties.

panchaud letter

He attended frequent medical boards over the next 14 months where his condition was finally explained to the Army Council as;

G.S Wounds  (multiple)

There were 7 wounds collectively classed as ‘slight’ subsequently it was found (by x-ray) that 2 F.Bs were lodged in the right lung. There had been some hemoptysis for about 14 days after the casualty. There are F.Bs lodged about the left knee (stated in one report to be 2 in number in another to 6). One or more F.Bs have been removed*. He complains of some dysfunction and of pins and needles in his left leg. Left thigh 1.5in in circumference. The chest exhibits no abnormal physical signs.

* The shrapnel mentioned in the note above was removed from his leg at Cliff hospital in Felixstowe in May 1918. His condition at this time also mentioned him complaining of pain the right of his chest when he takes a breath and not being able to breath deeply with his right lung.

On 22nd November 1918 Temp Lt. Panchaud relinquished his commission on account of ill health caused by wounds and was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant.

Following the war he worked as a civil servant – no further information at this time. Leslie and Olive divorced in 1931 at her petition; and in April 1934 he was living at 4 Eversholt Street, N.W.1  when he married for the second time, his wife Jessie E. Chatting.

During the second war he applied for a commission in the Auxillery Military Pioneer Corps. His address at this time was Rede Wood, Barham, Ipswich.

28th October 1939


I have been advised by the local recruiting office to apply to you for an appointment in the Pioneer Corps, now being formed.

During the last war I served from November 1914 to November 1918 and obtained the rank of Lieutenant and was discharged unfit with 50% disability. I feel, however, I could still do useful service at the present time, and trust you will advise me if I could be reinstated in my rank in the above Corps.

I am Sir, your obedient servant.

L. B. Panchaud, late Loyal N. Lancs. Regt.

In February 1940 Leslie was invited for interview and was accepted for enrolment in the Army Officers’ Emergency Reserve which would expire on reaching his 60th birthday in 1952. Whether he did actually serve or not is unknown as a note in his file reads;

07.03.40 – I have seen this member and it is quite obvious he could not pass the medical test. J. Clark, Captain.

Leslie Browning Panchaud died in September 1976. He had been living at Anchorage, 1 Grovsner Road, Westbourne, Bornmouth, Dorset.

Paul McCormick
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