Harrison | Leslie

  • First names


  • Age


  • Date of birth


  • Date of death


  • Service number


  • Rang


  • Regiment

    Royal Engineers,17 Field Coy.

  • Grave number

    II. C. 5.

sapper Leslie Harrison
Leslie Harrison
graf Leslie Harrison
graf Leslie Harrison


Son of Edwin Hodson Harrison (d. 1933) and Sarah Harrison (d. 1964) at Southport, Lancashire, England
Husband of Mabel Sumner of Birkdale, St John.
Father of Pamela (27 November 1944 – 20 May 2015). It is not certain if Leslie ever saw his child.
Mabel remarried in 1946 to Richard Kenneth Green, who then adopted Pamela. The family lived in Birkdale, Southport, Lancashire.
Leslie Harrison left school at the age of 14 and became a bricklayer. He then joined 17 Field Company Royal Engineers. This unit landed on D-day, June 6, 1944, on Sword beach in Normandy and in the autumn of 1944 made its way through Western Europe and experienced the liberation of France, Belgium and the south of the Netherlands.
On October 13, 1944, a day before the final liberation of Overloon, the life of the then 31-year-old Leslie comes to an end, after he has come into the sights of a German sniper. Together with 4 soldiers from The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry; Herbert Sydney Bayley, John Fereday, Michael Hardy Child Bellamy and William Victor Woodfield who also died on 13 October 1944, Leslie is temporarily buried in the garden of the Borghs family on the Vierlingsbeekseweg in Overloon.
On 13 May 1947 the 5 soldiers were buried next to each other at Overloon War Cemetery (plot II.C.1-5).
The Harrison family had regular contact with the Borghs family in the years after the war, but that contact has slowly been diluted. They also visited Leslie’s grave several times. The Borghs family faithfully took care of the flowers on the graves of the five fallen, as Mrs. Borghs shows on the picture.

Mevrouw Borghs bij het graf van Leslie Harrison
Mrs Borghs visiting the grave of  Leslie 

A final visit of the Harrison family was in 2016. They saw a film in the war museum in which German snipers hunted the British soldiers on the very day Leslie was killed. They experienced that film as very impressive.

Sources and credits

Fam. Borghs, Overloon
Chris Phillips
Joanne Johnston (relative)
Research: Harry Lutters

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