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Leckie, Malcolm

Leckie, M. Capt., D.S.O., R.A.M.C. Entered Guy's in 1899 and the R.A.M.C. in 1908. He had a distinguished career in Egypt, and on the outbreak of war went to the Front with the Expeditionary Force, being attached to the Northumberland Fusiliers. D.S.O. at Mons. Killed August 28th. 1914

Captain Malcolm Leckie, formerly of Guy's Hospital, went to the front with the Expeditionary Army, being attached to the Northumberland Fusiliers.Before that period his short career in the service had been almost entirely passed in Egypt, where he left a high reputation for personal amiability, professional capacity, and devotion to duty. This latter quality he displayed in its highest form at the Battle of Mons.

Malcom Leckie entered Guy's in 1899, passed the Second Conjoint in January, 1903, and the Final in April, 1907; he then read for the R.A.M.C., which he entered in January, 1908.At Guy's he dressed to Mr. Golding-Bird, and was Clinical to Dr. Hale White and Dr Pitt in the last three months of 1907.

During some three years in the Dissecting Room I got to know him well, and chiefly remember his keenness for everything he undertook; he was one of the first to take up hockey at Guy's and to establish it as a regular Hospital game.

He was typical of that fortunately common stamp of Conjoint man who makes public opinion among his fellows, and is respected and liked for himself and his manliness; I should say that Leckie spent himself for his friends, and recently talking over with one of his chums our recollections of him, we agreed that he was happiest when taking immense pains to do some small kindness to others often for those who had but slight claim on his friendship. To those who knew him well he was always the same kind, generous, unselfish person, with rather a thoughtful manner and slow to express his own views; one can well imagine that his place in his Mess will remain unfilled, and many a sick or wounded soldier will know he has lost a friend. Guy's Hospital Reports Vol.LXX, War Memorial Number

Captain Malcolm Leckie, formerly of Guy’s Hospital, went to the front with the Expeditionary Army, being attached to the Northumberland Fusiliers. Before that period his short career in the service had been almost entirely passed in Egypt, where he left a high reputation for personal amiability, professional capacity, and devotion to duty. This latter quality he displayed in its highest form at the battle of Mons. “Those officers who were near him were enthusiastic in describing his fearless and reckless devotion in attending the wounded,” says one witness. “He was most gallant and energetic,” says another. In attending to an injured man in the open on August 24th, the first day of the retreat, he was struck by a shrapnel bullet high up on the breast. The missile seems to have penetrated to the spine and caused some paralysis. He was carried into the hospital at Frameries, a village some miles south of Mons, and there lingered for some days, attended by a Belgian doctor and nursing sisters from a neighbouring convent. It is said that even after reaching the hospital, he continued to minister to some wounded who were brought to his bedside. On the fourth day after his injury he died, though it is only within the last week that his anxious relatives and friends have received detailed assurance of the fact. His conduct had already been recognised by the D.S.O.

So in his thirty-fourth year passed away a man whom it has been a privilege to know, and whose memory will linger as a beautiful and tender thing, in the minds of all his friends. What is mortal of him lies in the churchyard of Frameries. But those who recall that eager and sensitive face, that quick sympathetic smile, and gentle modesty of bearing will see in them the expression of something more permanent than death – the true inner man of which matter is but the shell. The value of a career does not lie in length of years, and this young life, given unselfishly for others, has been a thing so complete and beautiful in itself that the grief even of his own nearest may well be softened by their loving pride. Dec. 21st 1914. Arthur Conan Doyle. Guy’s Hospital Gazette 

 

Biographical

Surname(s)Leckie
First name(s)Malcolm
Date of birth1880
Place of birthEltham, Kent Registration District
Family detailsSon of James Blyth Leckie and Selina Leckie of Monkstown, Crowborough, Sussex
Previous educationBlackheath Preparatory School then privately abroad
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1899-1907
Dept / courseConjoint Diploma
QualificationsM.R.C.S. and L.R.C.P.
Military unitRoyal Army Medical Corps
Date enlisted1908
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
CampaignsEgypt, France
Decorations / medalsD.S.O. Mentioned in Despatches
Citation(s)D.S.O. For gallant conduct and exceptional devotion to duty in attending wounded at Frameries, where he was himself wounded
Date of death28 August 1914
Age at death34
Rank at deathCaptain
Place of deathFrameries near Mons
Cause of deathDied of wounds received on the 24th in the retreat from Mons
Burial placeFrameries Communal Cemetery, Belgium
Commemoration(s)Guy's Hospital Memorial; Crowborough War Memorial, Sussex; All Saints Church, Chapel Green, Sussex
NotesWas brother-in-law of Conan Doyle. Captain Leckie was one of the best hockey players of his day. He was a member of the Blackheath Hockey Club and Captain of Guy's Hockey Club when there; played for the Kent Hockey Club, for the Army, and for England against France.
SourcesGuy's Hospital Medical School Records, King's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour 1914-1918

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