Louth soldiers praised in new Great War book

Conrad Leadbeater (centre) features in the new book. He is pictured here with two other Louth soliders, Harry Smith and Bert Whomsley. EMN-150226-134900001
Conrad Leadbeater (centre) features in the new book. He is pictured here with two other Louth soliders, Harry Smith and Bert Whomsley. EMN-150226-134900001

A new book about the 1/5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment has been released this week, strongly featuring two soldiers from Louth.

The book, titled ‘The 1/5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment in the Great War’, was released on 
March 1, which is exactly 100 years to the day since the battalion travelled overseas to fight in the 
First World War.

The new book has been seven years in the making, and is co-authored by Steve Bramley, from Cleethorpes, along with his friend Chris Bailey.

The pair were also fortunate to have a foreword written for their book by the famous Lincolnshire military historian, Martin Middlebrook.

Steve Bramley said: “Several members of the Louth C Company (later amalgamated with the Spilsby company to form B Company) are mentioned in the book. Two men, Sergeant Harold Matthews and Conrad Leadbeater, feature strongly.”

Steve continued: “Sergeant Harold Matthews was from 8 Keddington Road in Louth. He joined the 5th Lincolns as a boy soldier in 1910.

“He went to the Western Front on March 1, 1915, and was killed in action on October 13, 1915. He was 21 years old.

“Sergeant Conrad Leadbeater was from Wellington Street. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for bravery during a mine explosion at Hill 60 in Belgium in October 1915.”

Sergeant Leadbeater went on to earn two further DCMs, becoming one of only 10 soldiers in the entire
Great War to achieve this distinction. He was recommended for the Victoria Cross, although this was declined. Sergeant Leadbeater survived the 
Great War and later fought against the Bolsheviks.

• Find out more on the ‘Fifth Lincs’ Facebook page, and order a copy of the book by sending an email to ironmariner@hotmail.com.