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Person Details
Hucknall Nottinghamshire
William Leslie Gray was the eldest son of Charles Wesley and Harriet Gray (née Machin). Charles Wesley was born in 1870 in Swannington, Leicestershire, the son of Thomas Henry Gray and his first wife, Jane Taylor (née Whiles, m. 1852 Leicester). The family had moved to Sherwood House, Linby, Nottinghamshire, by 1881 where Thomas was employed as a colliery agent (Linby Colliery). Thomas's wife, Jane, died in 1890 and he married secondly Emily Ada Pearce (1892 reg. Conway Wales) by whom he had a son, Frank (b. Linby 1895). They were living at Sherwood House Linby in 1901 but had moved to Ruddington before 1911 by which time Thomas had retired and his son Charles had removed to the family home in Linby. Thomas died in 1914 and was buried in Linby St Michael churchyard. Harriet Machin was born in 1870 at Linby, Nottinghamshire. Charles Wesley and Harriet were married in 1897 (reg. Great Ouseburn, Yorkshire) and had three children: William Leslie b. Hucknall 1898 bap. 20 September 1898, Evelyn Mary b. Hucknall 1902 bap. May 1902 and John Machin b. Linby 7 January 1904 bap. 11 February 1904. In 1901 Charles, a colliery commercial manager, and Harriet were living on Station Road, Hucknall, with their son William. Also in the household was a mother's help and a general domestic servant. Harriet Gray died on 19 December 1904 aged 35. By 1911 Charles, a commercial manager, and his three children were living in the family home at Linby. Charles employed a nursemaid and general domestic servant. William's brother, John, died in Zurich, Switzerland, aged 24 on 7 January 1928 and was buried in Linby St Michael churchyard. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled Charles Wesley and his unmarried daughter Evelyn were still living at Sherwood House, Main Street, Linby. They employed a housekeeper and a domestic servant who 'lived in'. Charles died at Sherwood House on 9 November 1951 and was buried in St Michael's churchyard. His daughter died in January 1996 and was also buried in Linby churchyard. During the Great War, the family generously supported Belgian refugees in the area.
University College Nottingham OTC.
28 Sep 1918
290154 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
4th Bn Suffolk Regiment
Willliam Leslie Gray was a member of University College Nottingham OTC (11280 Private). He was awarded a commission on 30 April 1918 and served as a second lieutenant in the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment. The 4th (Territorial) Battalion served with the BEF France from 9 November 1914. William died of wounds on 27 September 1918 near Flesquieres and was buried the following day in Grevillers British Cemetery, France (grave ref. XII. E. 18). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Grevillers British Cemetery (extract): the village of Grevillers is 3km from the town of Bapaume. 'Grevillers was occupied by Commonwealth troops on 14 March 1917 and in April and May, the 3rd, 29th and 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Stations were posted nearby. They began the cemetery and continued to use it until March 1918, when Grevillers was lost to the German during their great advance. On the following 24 August, the New Zealand Division recaptured Grevillers and in September, the 34th, 49th and 56th Casualty Clearing Stations came to the village and used the cemetery again. After the Armistice, 200 graves were brought in from the battlefields to the south of the village, 40 from an adjoining cemetery made during the German occupation, and some from the following [listed].' (www.cwgc org)
Liddle Collection (First and Second World Wars), ref. Liddle/WW1/GS/0655. Deposit: Letters; Photographs; Badges; Various papers regarding his death and commemoration. (Explore.library.leeds.ac.uk/special collections-explore/28887. gray_william_leslie) Linby St Michael, family memorial. Dedication: 'The Great War 1914-1918. In loving memory of William Leslie Gray 2nd Lieut 4th Suffolk Regt. who was mortally wounded near Flesquieres, Sept 27th 1918. Laid to rest in Grevillers British Cemetery, France, Sept 28th 1918, aged 20 years. Live thou for England, we for England died' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 1 October 1918: ‘Gray. Killed in action, September 28th, second-Lieut. Leslie Gray, aged 20, elder son of CW Gray, Linby.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 2 October 1918: ‘The Roll of Honour. Killed. Sec. Lieut. Leslie Gray elder son of Mr CW Gray, of Linby, was killed in action on September 28th. He was 20 years of age.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: William Leslie Gray. Will proven 26th August 1919 Nottingham; William Leslie Gray Sherwood House Linby second lieutenant in HM Army died 28th September 1918 in France. Administration of his Will was awarded to his father, Charles Wesley Gray, colliery manager. Effects £295 2 shillings and 9 pence. Linby St Michael churchyard, headstone: 'John Machin Gray beloved younger son of Charles Wesley and Harriet Gray born January 7th 1904 died at Zurich, Switzerland June 7th 1928'
Remembered on


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  • Buried in Grevillers British Cemetery.
    William Leslie Gray - Buried in Grevillers British Cemetery.