Private Edward Leach Ross


Edward Leach Ross was born on 13 August 1893 at 127 & 129 Shankill Road, Belfast, the last of at least eight children of Scottish-born parents, publican (later spirit merchant and commission agent) Finlay Ross and his wife Marion (nee Thompson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 14 Clanchattan Street, Belfast, with his widowed mother and three siblings, and working as an apprentice architect with the firm J.B. Brennan.

Having just completed his apprenticeship and begun work as an assistant architect teacher, on 19 May 1915 Ross enlisted in the North Irish Horse (No.1555). On 11 January 1916 he embarked for France with E Squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 34th Division.

His architectural and surveying skills, however, were in demand, and on 25 May 1916 he was temporarily attached to the Royal Flying Corps. Four months later he was attached to No.3 Field Survey Company of the Royal Engineers, remaining with that unit until the end of the year.

Ross permanently transferred to the Royal Engineers on 26 May 1917 (No.246946) and was again posted to No.3 Field Survey Company. He was posted to the 4th Field Survey Company on 1 May 1918 and the 1st Field Survey Company on 27 September that year.

On 18 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

On 11 March 1918 Ross had married Ida Susanna Bell at the Old Presbyterian Church, Randalstown. After the war he returned to work as a surveyor. In July 1928 he was appointed Special Assistant to the Antrim County Surveyor.

By 1970 he was living at 23 Slievemoyne Park, Belfast. He died on 19 January that year and was buried in the Roselawn Cemetery.


At least three of Ross's brothers also served in the war – Adam Ross in the Royal Navy, George Victor Ross in the North Irish Horse and Thomas Ross in the Royal Irish Rifles.