Eric Hanson Lee

Eric Hanson Lee

Personal Details

Eric Hanson Lee was born in Whitchurch in 1896. He was the eldest son of Leonard and Anne Lee of 27, High Street, Whitchurch.

Eric was studying at St John’s College, Cambridge when he enlisted in 1914 aged 18. He gained a commission in March 1915 in the 9th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, and joined the 1st Battalion in France on the 17th August 1915.

Eric was the brother of John Arthur Lee, who died three days earlier on 16th September 1916.

Military Details

Regiment : 1st Battalion Kings Shropshire Light Infantry
Rank : Second Lieutenant

Died of Wounds; France 19th September 1916 Age 20

Medals and Awards
Eric was awarded the Campaign Medals (1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The 1914 Star (also known as 'Pip') was authorised under Special Army Order no. 350 in November 1917 and by an Admiralty Fleet Order in 1918, for award to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight of 22–23 November 1914. The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

The 1914–15 Star (also known as 'Pip') was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Further Information

Whitchurch Herald 23rd September 1916

Report in the Whitchurch Herald 23rd September 1916 concerning the death of Eric Hanson Lee.

"Mr L Lee, High Street, Whitchurch on Tuesday night he received news that his second son John Arthur had been killed in action. On Thursday morning he received a wire announcing that his eldest son Eric had died from wounds, both ex pupils of Whitchurch Grammar School, Eric had been a resident at St Johns College, Cambridge. Arthur left the Grammar School and attended Ardingly College Sussex and Canley School Surrey."

Whitchurch Herald 23rd September 1916

Chester Chronicle 30th September 1916

Report in the Chester Chronicle 30th September 1916 regarding the deaths of Eric Hanson Lee and his brother John Arthur Lee

"Mr. Leonard Lee, who lost his wife only recently, has now sustained a fearfully heavy blow. Both sons have been killed in action. On Tuesday he received news that his second son, Second Lieutenant Arthur Lee of the K.S.L.I, had been killed on an advance, and on Thursday that his eldest son, Second Lieutenant Eric Lee, had died from wounds. They were only 19 and 20 respectively. The sad bereavement has called forth the sympathy of every one in the district."

Chester Chronicle 30th September 1916

If you can provide any further information on Eric Hanson Lee please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Terry Evanson Whitchurch, Shropshire and Whitchurch Museum and Archives

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