Leslie Vernon Peckett was born on 9 July 1893 in Huddersfield, where the majority of his siblings were born but the family moved to Shipley around 1900 where his youngest sister, Dorothy, was born.His father, Shipley-born Arnold was a commercial traveller and his mother was Elizabeth Ann.Leslie was mentioned in the Shipley Times & Express on 7 August 1914 as one of the local men called up in first week of the war to 2nd WR Field Ambulance, RAMC, and sent to various units “to maintain a supply of pure water for the troops, to render first aid and to supervise the general sanitary arrangements”We are fortunate to have some details of his experience in his own words, published in the newspaper on 21 May 1915:“The following extracts have been made from a letter, dated May 14th, sent to his parents at Ashfield Avenue, Frizinghall, by Pte L V Peckett, a clerk in the London City and Midland Bank at Shipley, who was mobilised with the Shipley Detachment of the Royal Army Medical Corps and is now attached to the Bradford Territorials in France:‘We have been in the trenches now for over a week and I have not
appeared to have any spare time at all – we have been so busy.‘We went into the trenches a week last Wednesday and are still there. I don’t know when we are going to be relieved.‘We have had some wounded every day and there have also been a few killed.‘Frank Matthewman got a slight wound in the leg at the beginning of the week. It is nothing much however and he smiled about it. He is in hospital now.‘Last Sunday and yesterday the artillery were very active about here and made plenty of noise. One or two German shells dropped quite close to our dug-out yesterday.Oranges‘I have received the Shipley Times & Express and other papers for which I thank you. I should like the Shipley Times and Weekly Telegraph sending regularly, also a morning paper when there has been any good fighting.‘I expect you will have read the letters from our chaps which appeared in the Weekly Telegraph
you sent me.‘Oranges here are 1½d and 2d each and are something like the ones at three a 1d in England.‘The sinking of the Lusitania is a terrible thing but if rumours that I hear are correct we are getting our own back by driving back the Huns.‘We have to sleep with everything on, ready to move. When in the trenches we have even to keep boots and puttees on.’“Apologising for not having written to several friends, Pte Peckett says they have not much time for letter writing and adds: ‘I had to break off writing this morning as Germans started shelling where we were.‘I was covered with mud twice through shells and one or two of our men were slightly wounded.‘I have been helping to cook once or twice this week. You should see me peeling potatoes, carrots etc., and cutting meat up.‘I shall be able to do all the housework when I come home again.
‘Perhaps you would notice that our band was down to play in Lister ark last Wednesday but of course could not fulfil the engagement owing to being out here.’And on 13 December 1918, the paper reported:“Pte Leslie Vernon Peckett, Duke of Wellington’s Regt (Field Ambulance), son of Mr and Mrs Arnold Peckett of Harlow Dene, Frizinghall, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in action when in charge of a bearer squad.Coolness and judgement“He led the squad with coolness and judgement and his high courage was, as on previous occasions, a splendid example to his comrades.“He assisted in clearing a large number of cases each day through a heavy barrage, often of gas shells, to a place of safety.”After the war Leslie returned to Frizinghall and banking. In July 1923 he married Ethel A Kennard and at the time of the 1939 survey, the couple were living at Oakroyd Terrace, Bradford.At some stage they moved to Bank House, 20 John Street, Baildon, their home when Leslie died on 25 July 1956.