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George Esselmont Gordon Leith



Born 1885 - Died 1965


Born in 1885 in South Africa. Educated Pretoria Model School. Clerical position under Chief Architect of Railway Dept. Sent by Hugh Crawford to A.A. in London 1906-09. Worked for Baker in South Africa and first winner of Herbert Baker Scholarship to travel to British Schools in Rome and Athens, 1911-13. Worked for Baker on Delhi drawings and taught 1913-1916. To Britain 1916, recommended by General Smuts for a Commission. Captain in the R.F.A., gassed, M.C. Appointed Assistant Architect 01/12/1918, recommended by Baker. Designed cemeteries including Terlincthun and Calais Southern under Baker. Appointed Senior Designing Architect in succession to Holden 01/04/1920. Resigned 01/07/1920 to be repatriated to South Africa owing to ill health. Later designed Bloemfontein Town Hall, Johannesburg General Hospital, Johannesburg Railway Station etc. Advisory Architect to South African Agency of War Graves Commission 1950 and worked on cemeteries in South Africa. Died 1965.

The information above was kindly supplied by Gavin Stamp and used with his permission.


The following citation was taken from the London Gazette 09/01/1918

2nd Lt. George Esslemont Gordon Leith, R.F.A. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when his battery was subjected to a heavy burst of shell fire. He led a rescue party to a dug-out which had been blown in and started to dig out the fifteen inmates. It was entirely due to his gallant exertions that the life of one man was saved. He himself was gassed during the operation, and his example of pluck and devotion was beyond all praise.


Calais Southern Cemetery


Terlincthun British Cemetery

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