Arthur Henry Leech
Chairman of Westhoughton Urban District Council: 1894-98, 1899-1901
Born: Wigan, Lancashire 21 August 1855
Educated: Private school; Wigan Grammar School
First Chairman of Westhoughton Urban District Council.
Son of William Leech, a brass founder.
Apprenticed to W J L Watkin of Pemberton Collieries, under whose training he qualified as a mining engineer.
In 1887 he was appointed manager of Brinsop Hall Collieries in Westhoughton and in 1886 entered into partnership with Horace Mayhew. He also took an active interest in the management of the colliery on Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone's Hawarden Estate in Flintshire and had experience as a Mining Engineer in Derbyshire, Lancashire and other places.
He was elected as a member of the Local Board in 1883, retaining his seat until 1894, at which time the Urban District Council was formed and he was again nominated and returned as a Councillor. At the first meeting of the new Council he was duly elected as the Chairman, by which appointment he also became a Magistrate.
"His long and faithful services in the past have won for him the esteem of all his colleagues and his unswerving fidelity to sound principles, together with a life of constant activity, has made him a most acceptable townsman and a worthy official." (Clough's Historical Review 1897)
His only son, Arthur Clive Leech, also became a mining engineer. He was killed in action on 4/5 June 1915 at Gallipoli, Turkey, while serving as a Captain in the 5th Bn, Manchester Regiment.