2nd Lieutenant, 10th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment, attached to 6th Battalion.
Killed in action 4th April 1916, aged 21.
Remembered on the Basra Memorial, Iraq.
Former student of geology.
Henry was born in 1894 to Christian G. Lechler and Violet Annie Lechler of Yercaud, Madras, India. He was their only son, and the grandson of a well known indian geologist, R.D. Foote. He was educated at Dollar Academy, Scotland (1906-1910) and Woodbridge School. At the latter he was in the cricket team, football XI and gymnasium six. He entered the University of Manchester in 1914 to study geology. Having been a lance corporal in the Officer Training Corps at school he transferred to the University Corps.
On 23rd December 1914 Henry was gazetted to the 10th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment and was mentioned in dispatches for his ‘distinguished and gallant’ service in Gallopoli. In letters home he wrote an account of the December 1915 and January 1916 evacuations from the Gallipoli peninusla. In one passage he describes being on ‘W’ Beach (near Lancashire Landing) within range of a Turkish gun known as ‘Asiatic Annie’: “About every half hour one heard a distant pop, followed in a few seconds by a rapidly rising shirll metallic whistle, which became a shriek as the shell passed by. A quarter of a second after the shriek has ended comes the shattering crash of the shell exploding. Then absolute silence for half a second (every one stretched out on the ground or crouching under a bank or some splinter –proof object) followed by the patter, patter, thump, thump of falling debirs and splinters, with sometimes a curse or a yell when some poor fellow has been hit. After this has happened five or six times one’s nerves begin to go, and you start shivering with excitement, fear, and expectation. This latter is worst; the constant listening for the expected shell soon wears out the strongest man. I’ve seen them rush into dirty abandonded dug-outs when a sudden gust of wind whistled through the telephone wires.”
At the end of January 1916 Henry’s unit moved to Egypt before going to Mesopotamia with 13th Division where he was killed in the Battle of Falahiyeh. It was reported that “He fell gallanty, leading his men, and was found ahead of them almost on top of the Turkish trenches in front of a machine gun.”
Henry left effects worth £110 18s 4d to his mother’s solicitor, Edward Charles Fache.