Nineteen year old Private Lewis Leiser of The Royal Pioneer Corps is buried at Arthuret church, Cumbria.
The Royal Pioneer Corps was raised on 17 October 1939 as the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps.
Pioneers were generally recruited from Africa, Mauritius and India but not well known, is that many thousands of Germans and Austrians also joined the corps to assist the allied war efforts to liberate their home countries.
Jewish and political opponents of the Nazi Regime fled to Britain whilst they were able and became known as “The King’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens”. Their mastery of the German language made them especially effective.
They constructed roads, bridges, prefabricated track on beaches and airfields as well as handling stores and stretcher bearing.
Involved in the assaults in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and North East Europe. The Royal Pioneer corps were involved in the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy.
As Lewis died on 22nd of September 1954, he would have been too young to be involved in World War II, so we have no knowledge of how this young man came to be resting in the quiet village churchyard of Arthuret.