Hindson, Lesley Reginald Probyn

Younger son of the Reverend John Hutchinson Hindson, of Sandbach, Cheshire; his mother was Lavinia Hindson, nee the Hon. Lavinia Butler, daughter of the 16th Baron Dunboyne (Com 1855) and sister of the Hon. Lesley James Probyn Butler (B 1889-1894). His older brother was Richard Eldred Hindson (B 1906-1908). He entered Winchester from Lambrook School, Bracknell, becoming a House Prefect in his last year.

He passed into Woolwich in 1913 and was gazetted to the R.F.A. in September 1914. At the front he won commendation from his Divisional General for presence of mind and promptness in removing a number of men and horses from the wagon lines to a place of shelter under heavy fire, and shortly before his death he was posted to the temporary command of a battery.

His brigade was part of the 41st Division, which attacked St Eloi on the opening day of the Battle of Messines on June 10th 1917, where the target of the action was the Messines Ridge, a natural stronghold south east of Ypres and occupied by the Germans since late 1914. The attack was launched on 7th June with the detonation of 19 underground mines under the German lines. Work on the mines began 18 months earlier. When it came the explosion was the loudest man-made explosion up to that date and could allegedly be heard in Dublin and by the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, in his office in Downing Street. Ten thousand Germans were killed by the mines alone, and followed up by a creeping barrage of tanks and gas attacks. Within three hours all objectives had been taken. The Germans  unsuccessfully counter-attacked the following day, and they continued to counter-attack until 14th June, by which time the entire Messines salient was in Allied hands. However, Hindson was one of those killed at Messines on 10th June.

He is also commemorated on the war memorial in the High Street at Sandbach. His brigade commander wrote: “As his Colonel, I would like to tell you what a gallant and in every way splendid officer he was. His work was so exceptionally good that it is difficult to pick out any special instances; but two, at any rate, are on record. Only last week I was suddenly left without a battery commander for another battery, and your son was actually posted to temporary command; however, he did not actually assume command as his own battery was short-handed at the moment – but it will show you that I trusted him more than any of my junior officers. I can say, without exaggeration, that there was not a more popular officer in the Brigade, nor one whom the men respected more, or would follow better.”

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Hindson
  • Forenames or initials: Lesley Reginald Probyn
  • House: B
  • Years in School: 1908-1913
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
  • Date of Birth: 13th April 1895
  • Date of Death: 10th June 1917
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer E4
  • Decoration: NA