Female portrait placeholder image

Name: Bertha Leech

Burial Number: 1869

Gender: Female

Born: 00/00/1870

Died: 30/09/1955

Buried: 04/10/1955


Bertha Mary Leech was born in 1870 in Croydon Surrey to Joseph and Sarah Anne Elizabeth Leech (nee Brooke). Joseph Leech, Bertha’s Father, worked as a Silk and Lace Merchant and in 1891 the census shows he was a commission agent which means he got paid on a commission basis only, so would have to work hard to earn a decent living. He must have been successful as on the census records he appears to have servants.

Bertha (who never married) lived with her parents in Croydon, and was one of 6 children-

Percy Joseph Verlander Leech – born 1863 Hackney London, died 1907 Croydon surrey

Florence Annie Leech born 1865 Dalston London, died 1948 Heene Terrace Worthing Sussex

Herbert William Leech born 1867 Croydon surrey, died 1934 Manchester, Lancs.

Frank Brooke Leech born 1872 Croydon Surrey, died 1957 Salisbury, Wilts

Harold Archie Leech born 1875 Croydon surrey, died 1882 Epsom Surrey

After Joseph died in 1905 in Croydon Surrey, Sarah Anne moved to Worthing with 2 of her children, Bertha and her son Herbert William. They lived at Cecil House, Shakespeare Road, Worthing. Sarah was living on her own means.

After Bertha’s Mother died in 1921, Bertha left Worthing for a time but it is not known where she went, however by 1925 she had returned to Worthing and is a member of the Church Missionary Society. She must have been a staunch member as she published letters in the Worthing Gazette in 1925 complaining that the Bible Churchmen’s Society were circulating leaflets maligning the Church Missionary Society. (The Bible Churchmen’s Society were a breakaway group of the original Church missionary Society).

By 1935 Bertha is living at 12 Bath Road Worthing, where she is not earning a living but doing unpaid domestic duties and social missionary work.

By the time Bertha died on 30th September 1955, she is living at the St. Ives Hotel, Marine Parade, Worthing, but died in the Caledonian nursing Home, 22 Mill Road, Worthing. She left an estate of £2591 13s 6d

Researcher: Jackie Rooney

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for Bertha Leech

Location in Cemetery

Area: NES Row: 3 Plot: 14

Exact Location (what3words): sprint.visual.risen

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


In memory of our darling mother Sarah Anne Elizabeth Leech who died June 24th 1921 "Only good night beloved, no farewell" Also of the daughter Bertha Mary Leech who died Sept 30th 1955 "Lord now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word"

Further Information


Name: Bertha Mary Leech

Gender: Female

Born: 00/00/1870

Town: Croydon

County: Surrey

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

No marriage information is available for this burial record.

Information at Death

Date of Death: 30/09/1955

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: Caledonian nursing Home

Address line 2: 22 Mill Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £2591 13 s 6 d

Current value of effects: £61835

Census Information


Claremont Cottage, Croydon, Surrey

Joseph Leech (Head) age 35, Sarah A (Wife) age 33, Florence A (Daughter) age 5, Herbert W (Son) age 4,Bertha M (Daughter) age 1, plus 2 servants


Westfield house, London Road, Sutton, Surrey

Joseph Leech (Head) age 46, Annie (Wife) age 44, Percy (son) age 18, Florence (Daughter) age 16, Herbert (Son) age 15, Bertha (Daughter) age 12, Frank (Son) age 10, Harold (Son) age 7, plus 1 servant


28 Elmwood Road, Croydon, Surrey

Joseph Leech (Head) age 55, Sarah A (Wife) age 52, Percy (Son) age 27, Herbert W (Son) age 24, Frank B (Son) age 19, Bertha (Daughter) age 21, Florence Leech (Daughter) age 24, plus 2 servants


Cecil House, Shakespeare Road, Worthing, sussex

Sarah Anne Elizabeth Leech (Head) age 74, Herbert William (Son) age 43, Bertha Mary (Daughter) age 41


12 Bath Road, Worthing, Sussex

Bertha M Leech age 69, Alice Page age 42

Miscellaneous Information

Church Missionary Society

The Church Missionary Society (CMS) was established in 1799 and was known as the Society for Missions to Africa and the East. The first missions went to Africa in 1804, The name Church Missionary Society began to be used and was renamed in 1812. Society members are dedicated to missions and help support missions and missionaries.
During the early 20th century the society moved in a more liberal direction (which took into consideration modern science and knowledge). This caused divisions in the society and as a consequence the Bible Churchmen’s Missionary Society was established in 1922.


Worthing Gazette 9th September 1925 – B.C.M.S. and C.M.S.

To the Editor of the Worthing Gazette

Sir, – Some weeks ago Colonel Douglas Jones attacked the Church of the Missionary Society through the medium of your paper. As I have been away from Worthing for a time I have not seen all the correspondence in connection with this subject.
In this week’s correspondence the Rev. HG Edmonds says the Foreword of our C.M.S. Report describes B.C.M.S. supporters as “agents of the enemy of Truth”. This is not correct; the paragraph which is so strongly objected to runs thus: “There is no ground for the statement and suggestion that the C.M.S. is unsound. This is one way in which the enemy of Truth is striving to mar and hinder God’s work”.
The Vicar of Christ Church also states that “the C.M.S. no longer rejects missionaries who do not believe in the Old Testament in its entirety”. This statement I contradict most emphatically. Will he please read the “Statement adopted by the General Committee of the C.M.S., 22nd November 1922”, from which I quote: “We declare once more our unwavering acceptance of the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures, and our full belief in their trustworthiness in all matters of faith and doctrine. We fervently acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Lord and our God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who spake as never man spake, and who made upon the Cross (by His one oblation of Himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, and we believe in the absolute truth of His teaching, and that His authority is final.”
Can any one doubt after reading this statement that the C.M.S. is carrying on faithfully in accordance with its traditions.
When the B.C.M.S. started a branch in Worthing it flooded the town with literature maligning the C.M.S. Pamphlets were put in the letter boxes, and after evening service one dark Sunday night leaflets containing bitter attacks on the C.M.S. were thrust into the hands of the congregations a s they left the Churches. Can such tactics be commended?
I believe it is a correct statement that there is not a single C.M.S. supporter in Worthing who does not believe in the whole Bible. It is to be regretted that “A Lover of Truth” has not the courage of her convictions. Bertha M. Leech (This letter has had to be condensed. – Editor, “Gazette”)

Worthing Gazette 16th September 1925 – B.C.M.S. and C.M.S.

Purely Defensive – To the Editor of the “Worthing Gazette”

Sir, – In her letter Miss Leech has accused me of attacking the C.M.S. This is a perversion of fact. The attack on those who, after supporting the C.M.S. for many years had to withdraw very reluctantly, but for conscience sake, was made in the first instance by the local Committee of the C.M.C. My letters were purely defensive in which I explained the reasons for seceding from the C.M.S.
Miss Leech, who is a member of the local C.M.S. Committee complains of the circulation of leaflets maligning the C.M.S. In a precious letter I expressed by regret at this action, though the word maligning is too strong, and there is a vast difference between the action of over zealous but unauthorised persons and the printed report of a Committee.
The quotation of the Statement adopted by the General Committee of the C.M.S. without explanation of the circumstances which led up to it and to the deliberate omission from the original resolution, is misleading.
D.F. Douglas-Jones, Colonel, Earlscolne.

The Official Statement of the C.M.S.

Sir, – Miss Leech contradicts my assertion that the C.M.S. no longer rejects as missionaries men and women, who, while claiming to be sound Evangelicals, cannot conscientiously accept the trustworthiness of the Old Testament Scriptures in their entirety, and cites in support of her opinion the Statement adopted by the General Committee of the C.M.S. on Nov. 22, 1922, which statement I quote again:-
“We declare once more our unwavering acceptance of the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures and our full belief in the trustworthiness in all matters of faith and doctrine. We fervently acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Lord and our God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Who spake as never man spake and Who made upon the Cross (by His one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world and we believe in the absolute truth of His teaching, and that His authority is final.”
It is in connection with t his Statement that supporters of the C.M.S. should ascertain the facts and acquaint themselves with the circumstances attending its adoption. As I was present at the time I may presume to know. The men who afterwards founded the B.C.M.S. were also present and agreed with every word of the foregoing Statement, but knowing the extent to which modern views of Christ and the Bible had found their way into the C.M.S>, and desiring to check the development of the same, they pressed for the insertion into the Statement of clauses giving a definite assurance that the Society would pledge its acceptance of the  trustworthiness of the historical records of the Bible in addition to “matters of faith and doctrine”, and would believe the absolute truth of Christ’s utterances in particular and not simply His teaching in general.
This the Society definitely refused to do , by 210 votes to 130, after Dr Bardsley, the Honorary Secretary had declared that the inclusion of such clauses would split the Society and lead to the resignation of missionaries, presumably those with modernist tendencies.
The beauty of the Statement disappeared in the darkness of the Society’s official and deliberate decision that henceforth it would accept as missionaries men and women who, while believing the trustworthiness of the Scriptures “in all matters of faith and doctrine”, and the truth of Christ’s teaching, regard the Bible as erring in its history and Christ as fallacious in some of His utterances.
I stand by me assertion, and a communication I recently received fromt he Secretary of the C.M.S. at Salisbury – square confirms my view.
Howard G. Edmonds, Vicar of Christ Church, Worthing.

Worthing Gazette – 17th July 1935

Medical Missions – “Grave Danger of Drastic Retrenchment”

Two errors crept into our report, last week, of the recent garden meeting of the Medical Mission Auxiliary Society. The inadvertent omission of the word “financially” from the sentence, “the Auxiliary is now independent of the Church Missionary Society,” and of the words “some of its overseas hospitals” at the end of the sentence “the Auxiliary would be forced to close down” was in both cases likely to lead to misleading construction.

In a letter pointing out the true facts of the position, Miss Bertha M Leech, 12 Bath road, Worthing, writes as follows:-

“The Medical Branch of the Church Missionary Society was started forty years ago, and will always remain a part of it. There is not the remotest suggestion of separation.

“The deficit was first caused by loss on exchange, and in 1926 the Medical Branch assumed its share of expenses in respect of the preparation of medical missionary candidates, also superannuation for medical missionaries which hitherto had been included in general fund expenditure.

“The Medical Missions of the Church Missionary Society are in a very anxious position, owing to the accumulated deficit of £26000, and there is grave danger of drastic entrenchment which will mean the closing of some hospitals overseas.

“A determined effort is being made to wipe out the deficit, and increase permanently the annual income, and at the recent garden meeting Mr Stuart Cox, the Organising Secretary of the Auxiliary, said: ‘We have been given until March 31st 1936, in which to save our work, and no further retrenchments will take place until we know whether we have been able to do so.’

“Today it is responsible for 67 hospitals, 120 welfare clinics, and 20 leper colonies, besides outlying dispensaries and out stations.

“Mr Stuart Cox suggested various ways of helping, so that there shall be no retrenchment.”

Worthing Gazette – 19th October 1955

Bertha Mary Leech deceased – Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925 (as amended)

Notice is hereby given that all creditors and other persons having any debts, claims or demands against or an interest in the estate of Bertha Mary Leech late of St Ives Hotel, Marine Parade, Worthing in the County of Sussex, Spinster deceased (who died on the 30th day of September 1955) are hereby required to send the particulars, in writing, of their debts, claims, demands or interests to Westminster Bank Limited Trustee Department, 8 Pavilion Buildings, Castle Square, Brighton1 Sussex or to the undersigned, the solicitors for the said executor on or before the 30th day of December next after which date the said executor will proceed to distribute the assets of the said deceased amongst the persons entitled thereto, having regard only to the debts, claims, demands and interests of which it shall then have had notice: and it will not be liable for the assets of the said deceased, or any part thereof, so distributed, to any person or persons of whose debts, claims demands or interests it shall not then have had notice. Dated this 11th Day of October 1955. Sotham and Robathan, Solicitors for the Executor, 77 Rowlands Road, Worthing, Sussex.