……John joined the Army circa 1887, serving two years in England and six in India, before going on the Reserve List, and then being called up from his workplace, Cooper's Foundry, to the 4th Battalion in November 1899; on arriving in South Africa, he was drafted into General Buller's column, then, after helping to take Ladysmith, he was struck down with enteric fever. After three months in hospital, he was invalided home to Burnley, in early/mid July. On Monday evening, 27th August 1900, at 5.30 p.m., at home in Thorn Street, he was taken ill, and after another attack of enteric, died at 11.30 p.m., aged 31. ……He was buried in Burnley Cemetery on Saturday 1st September 1900, attended by eight soldiers in uniform and "large numbers of people."
……The problem is that there's no record of a John Leyburn dying in Burnley during August and September 1900. Nor is there a record of anyone with the surname Leyburn ever being buried in Burnley Cemetery.
……Did he serve in South Africa with the surname Leyburn?
……The two other mentions of Leyburns I can find in Burnley between 1878 and 1900 are a young man from Oldham, named George Leyburn, who was fined for begging in 1885, and, in 1893, a correspondent to the Burnley Express used the name Leyburn in asking a question about a local beerhouse. So no real evidence of Leyburn being a family name in Burnley.
An odd one this Berenice. The medal roll index on Ancestry shows no Leyburn in the Royal Lancaster Regiment who qualified for a QSA while FMP doesn't show any papers for a John Leyburn who served around the time of the ABW. I suspect he may have enlisted under another name and had his death registered under that name while his family who organised the funeral continued to use his 'real' name which was reported in the paper.
The 4th Battalion connection suggested that the J. Burns you found may be him but the medal roll shows 7396 Pte. J. Burns as died at sea 24/7/1901.
8142 Pte. T. Magill is shown as died at sea 14/12/1900. I couldn't find Collins or Kelly.
Thank you, David. I did ask Burnley Cemetery office on Friday if they could look up the death and burial of "John Leyburn" and they were going to, but as soon as I found that there was no Leyburn recorded as having died on that day in Burnley, I phoned back and cancelled. So next, I'll call again next week and ask if they could check all the 27.8.00 deaths and 1.9.00 burials they have there for a possible match.
……Thanks to Bereavement Services at Burnley Council, it's now known that John Leyburn was interred in Burnley Cemetery as John Blackburn, which must have been his true surname. That's confirmed by the General Register Office, his surname being recorded on the death certificate as Blackburn. ……John is interred in a Public Grave, with other unrelated people, and there's no grave marker, because the rights to the grave belong to Burnley Council. At some time in the future I'll be able to make an appointment to be guided to the site of his grave. I'll also look in at the Lancasters' Museum to see if there's anything on record about him, such as his service number.
A RETURNED SOLDIER DIES WHILST ON FURLOUGH.
ANOTHER ATTACK OF ENTERIC.
……On Monday night the death took place of Pte. John Leyburn, at his home in Thorn-st., Burnley. He was in the 4th King's Royal Lancasters, and was invalided home six weeks ago. Leyburn was taken ill at 5-30 in the evening, and expired at 11-30 from another attack of enteric fever. The deceased was 31 years of age, and was called up in November, arriving in South Africa three weeks afterwards. On landing at the latter place he was drafted into Buller's column, and was in that very hard march to Ladysmith, serving in eleven engagements. After taking part in the relief of Ladysmith deceased was struck down with enteric, and was placed in hospital there for three months, being removed home in order to improve his health. Previous to being called up deceased was employed at Cooper's Foundry, and was well-known in Burnley. Leyburn joined the army about ten years ago, serving two years in England and six in India. His time with the colours expired about two years previous to being called up for active service. It may be interesting to note that he was one of the escort when Dr. Jameson was sent home to England after the Johannesburg raid. Much sympathy is felt for the deceased's relatives. Although he had no rank in the army, his fellow soldiers knew him to be an honest and straightforward soldier, and one who would do anything for his Queen and country. The interment will take place to-day at the Burnley Cemetery. Another brother of the deceased is at present serving with the East Lancashires in South Africa.
Burnley Express, Saturday 1st September 1900
FUNERAL OF A BURNLEY SOLDIER.
…...The funeral took place on Saturday at the Burnley Cemetery of Private John Leyburn, of the 4th King's Royal Lancasters, who was invalided home quite recently from South Africa, and whose death whilst on furlough was reported in Saturday's "Express." Eight soldiers, in uniform, attended the funeral, which was watched by large numbers of people. Private Leyburn died at his home in Thorn-street, Burnley Lane, from a second attack of enteric fever.