Death of Farmer Leach
Obituary in local paper
Mr. Frederick John Leach—the first man to cross the Canvey Bridge—has died at his Waterside Farm, Canvey, home, aged 80. Known on Canvey as “Farmer Leach,” he was Canvey Council Chairman eight times during his 30 years’ continuous service as councillor.
Scores attended his funeral at St. Katherine’s Church—where he married in 1912—on Thursday afternoon. The service was conducted by Rev. John Fleetwood, Vicar of Canvey.
Among them were Coun. George Pickett, JP, Canvey Council Chairman; Mr John Rumble, Clerk of the Council; Mr W J S Bew, Clerk of the Essex River Authority; members of Canvey Council and members of the former Canvey Sea Wall Commission.
Seventy-eight years old Mrs Amelia Leach was absent from her husband’s funeral on doctors orders. She has been unwell since Waterside Farm was raided by three masked men two weeks ago.
Councillor Pickett, a close friend of Mr Leach for 40 years described him as “one of the old stalwarts of Canvey.”
In 1931 Mr Leach was the first to walk across Canvey Bridge after it had been opened by the Chairman of the County Council.
Mr Leach’s life was firstly devoted to his farm with its sheep and cattle, but he found time to serve as a councillor from 1926 to 1956, becoming Chairman of Canvey Sea Wall Commission and serving on Essex River Board. He was also on the board of managers for the William Read and Leigh Beck Schools.