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Lecomber, Philip Hebdon

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Philip Hebdon Lecomber

Lieutenant, 2/7th Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force)
Killed in action, 27 March 1918, aged 21
No known grave (Pozières Memorial, France)

CWGC registered (Son of WG and Margaret S Lecomber, of “Phildene”, Prestatyn, Flint)

Philip Hebdon Lecomber is not remembered on any of the Llandudno memorials. However, he is remembered on a stone in a family plot at St. Tudno’s Churchyard. This page is included for interest only.

Philip Lecomber and his twin brother George Walteling Lecomber were born on 3 November 1896 at Brooklands, Cheshire. The boys were the sons of William Godfrey Lecomber and his wife Margaret Speakman Lecomber (née Pendlebury). The twins had an elder brother William Eric (b 1895) and were joined by a sister Margaret Frieda in 1900. The Census of 1901 records the family living at “Marsland”, Marsland Road, Sale; William Lecomber was described as a mechanical engineer and coppersmith. A newspaper report of visitors to Colwyn Bay dated 1901 records the family as holidaying in the resort.

The London Gazette in 1908 recorded the dissolving of the partnership of William Godfrey Lecomber and his father William Webster Lecomber, brewers’ engineers, coppersmiths, brass and iron founders &c, by mutual consent on the latter’s retirement. The Census for 1911 recorded the family as being boarders at “Clywd Dale”, Pwllglas, near Ruthin, having been joined by Edna Webster Lecomber (born 1904) though Philip and George were recorded as being boarders at Denstone College in Staffordshire. The now-retired William Webster Lecomber lived at “Red Court”, Church Walks, Llandudno.

On the outbreak of the First World War, William Eric Lecomber joined the Lancashire Fusiliers, George Lecomber joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (later attached to the Royal Flying Corps) and Philip Lecomber joined the Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force). Philip may have joined the TF because on the outbreak of war, he was too young to join the New Armies which were forming at the time. It is likely that he joined the 2/7th Battalion which formed at Manchester in August 1914 as a second-line unit. On Christmas Day 1915, Philip was commissioned as a second lieutenant. The 2/7th MR landed at Boulogne on 7 March 1917 and Philip was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1917.

Philip Hebdon Lecomber was killed in action aged 21 near Framerville, France on 27 March 1918 during a German advance now known as the Battle of Rosières. According to the war diary for the battalion, the total casualties from 21 March 1918 to 30 March 1918 were 37 killed, 214 wounded in action and 321 missing. This action was effectively the end of the 2/7th Manchester’s – it was reduced to cadre strength (administrators and instructors) and was disbanded in July 1918.

The previous year, Philip’s father William Godfrey Lecomber had been elected as the Mayor of Ruthin and it was in this capacity when he and his wife received the news of their son’s death. There was some speculation in the local press that Philip had been recommended for a Victoria Cross. The Probate Calendar records that Philip Lecomber of “Dedwyddfa”, Ruthin left his effects of £192 5s 1d to his father.

Both of Philip’s brothers survived the war, as did his uncle Harold Rogers Lecomber, a major in the Royal Air Force, OBE who had previously managed a Ford dealership in Llandudno.

Known memorials:

  • Pozières Memorial, France (previously on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium) See comment No 1
  • Ruthin War Memorial
  • Lecomber family grave at Llanbedr DC, Ruthin See comment No 1
  • Adjacent to grandparents’ headstone, St. Tudno’s Churchyard
  • Ruthin School Roll of Honour See comment No 1
  • Denstone College Roll of Honour

6 comments to Lecomber, Philip Hebdon

  • Paul Harrison

    Philip Hebdon Lecomber was a grandson of William Webster and Louisa Maria Lecomber (nee Godfrey) being the youngest son of Willam Godfrey and Margaret Speakman Lecomber (nee Pendlebury). Philip was my uncle and my late mother was Edna Webster Harrison (nee Lecomber) who was the fifth and youngest child of William Godfrey and Margaret Speakman Lecomber. Assuming Cathie Horner (nee Catherine Godfrey) is a descendant of Louisa Maria Godfrey’s family then we are clearly related. The Lecomber family resided in Ruthin where William Godfrey Lecomber was Mayor from 1917 to 1923 and five family members are buried at Llanbedr DC Ruthin. My great-grandparents are buried on the Great Orme and there is a commemoration scroll to Philip on their grave.

  • Cathie Horner

    I am attaching via a link an extract from my family tree. The name Lecomber was of interest to me but I was unable to glean any information until recently. Could we all be descendants from William Webster Lecomber and Louisa M Godfrey. I was born Catherine Godfrey.


  • Gwynne Morris

    Very glad to see the amendment. Philip’s father was very highly thought of in the Ruthin area where he became Mayor and received the Freedom of the Borough. He also had close connections with the ////Manchester City Council and Henshaws Asylum for the Blind in the saME city.

  • Paul Harrison

    Thank you very much for the amendments. You may also be interested to note that the original letter from Lieutenant A A Lamb, dated 27th January 1932, to Philip’s twin brother, George, describing the circumstances of Philip’s death and his recommendation for the Victoria Cross is available for inspection in the Imperial War Museum, London.

  • admin

    Thank you for your kind comment Paul. I have amended the list of memorials accordingly. It is interesting how many years later, the CWGC record can be changed.

  • Paul Harrison

    Philip Lecomber was my uncle and your research is excellent. However, just to correct you as to the places where Philip is commemorated CWGC are removing his name from Tyne Cot Memorial to Pozieres Memorial in France where he was killed. Philip is also commemorated on the Lecomber family grave at Llanbedr DC Ruthin, as well as on the Ruthin School Roll of Honour where Philip had been a pupil before going to Denstone College. There is also a commemoration cabinet in Nantclwyd-y-Dre Ruthin with a Tower of London ceramic poppy in memory of Philip and all the Ruthin soldiers who fell in the Great War 1914-1918.

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