Captain Leonard Percy I'ANSON.
Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War
Captain Leonard Percy I'ANSON
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Captain Leonard Percy I'ANSON.

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Captain Leonard Percy I'ANSON.

4th Battalion. Killed 25 April 1915.

Simon Barnard (<>) has forwarded the obituary for Captain Leonard Percy I'Anson, which was printed in the North Eastern Gazette of 29 April 1915.
The obituary was published with an account of the Battle of St. Julien, together with obituaries of Captain Nancarrow and Lieutenant Erasmus Darwin, - both killed in the same battle. The article from the North Eastern Gazette was extracted by Kevin Galloway and appears on the website dedicated to the 4th Battalion set up by Bill Danby.

"Residents of Saltburn and indeed throughout the whole of East Cleveland, today heard with deep regret the news that Lieut L P I'Anson in charge of the Skelton Company of Territorials had paid the supreme penalty of love of his country by sacrificing his life on the battlefield in Flanders.

The sad tidings were conveyed in a letter to the bereaved parents at Saltburn. It was from Colonel M L Bell, the commanding officer of the 4th Yorks Battalion, and from it may be gathered that the 4th Yorks have this week covered themselves with glory in the severe fighting which is almost daily reported.

The letter is dated Tuesday and says:-
"It is with bitter grief that I report poor Leonard's death. He dropped dead, shot through the heart. No pain.

He was a magnificent officer, loved by all. It was a critical situation and the General complimented the battalion on their work. Leonard would be proud if he only knew."

Lieut I'Anson was about 38 years old and was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs W I'Anson of Bardencroft, Saltburn. Educated at Bootham School, York, he served articles as a solicitor with Messrs Jackson and Jackson of Middlesbrough and afterwards started business on his own accound about ten or twelve years ago.

He had been identified with the Territorial movement since its inception. He was the type of officer who rapidly wins the confidence and affection of the men and when two years ago the late Major French left the Skelton Corps on promotion the rank and file were delighted that Lieutenant I'Anson was to assume command of their company, which was one of the strongest in the whole country.

The deceased officer was a splendid shot and numerous trophies in his father's house testify to his proficiency with the gun. He took a deep personal interest in the work of the Territorials.

His enthusiasm, as well as his consideration for those serving under him, gained the admiration of all and by his death on the battlefield the Skelton Company, which has always been blessed with popular officers, loses another leader, whose work will be gratefully remembered in a district which is pardonably proud of its local detachment of Territorials.

To Mr I'Anson, the respected secretary and engineer of the Cleveland Water Company and to Mrs I'Anson the bereaved relatives many messages of condolence have been already addressed.

Deep sympathy will also be expressed with Miss Elsie Constantine of Harlsey Hall, Northallerton, daughter of Mr and Mrs Joseph Constantine to whom the deceased officer was engaged."

Elsie Constantine
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  Elsie Constantine (pictured left) to whom Captain I'Anson was engaged to be married, is the grandmother of Simon Barnard (<>). Simon writes that Elsie subsequently married Joseph Barnard.
A portrait of Elsie was commissioned after Percy's death, and hangs in Harlsey Hall. A part of this portrait can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail below.
Elsie Constantine

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