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  • Buried in Oxford Road Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Leslie William was the son of William Sykes and his first wife Mary Ann Ivors Sykes (née Brindley). William was born in Nottingham in about 1858 and Mary Ann was born in about 1857. They were married at Basford Register office in 1877 (O/N/D). According to the 1911 Census William had twelve children of whom only seven were living but this number probably included the child, or children, from his second marriage in 1899. At least ten children by William's first marriage have been traced through census returns and registrations of birth. The children were born in either Basford or Nottingham and four died in infancy or childhood: Florence Annie b. 1878 d. 1881; Charlotte Ada b. & d. 1879; Albert Edward b. 1880; Sylvia Augusta b.29 April 1883; Clarence William b. 1884 d. 1890; Florence Annie Hephzibah b. 1 July 1888; Leslie William b. 1890; Clifford Alexander b. 1892; Clarice b. 1894 and Mary b. & d. 1897 (J/F/M). In 1881 William (23), a lace maker, Mary (24) and their two surviving children, Florence Annie (2) and Albert (under one year), were living at 17 Palm Street, Basford. A second daughter, Charlotte, had died in infancy in 1879 and Florence Annie was to die at the end of the year. By 1891 the family had moved to 411 Beridge Road, Radford. William and Mary had four children: Albert, Sylvia (7), Florence (2) and Leslie (10 months). Their second son Clarence had died in 1890 aged about 5 years. At least three more children were born in the next seven years, Clifford, Clarice and Mary, who was born in 1897 (J/F/M) and who died, as did her mother Mary Ann, in 1897 (J/F/M). William married secondly Harriet Reavill (b. 1867) in 1899 and they had at least one child, May (b. 23 March 1900). William and Harriet were living at 34 Fisher Street, Nottingham, in 1901 with his six children, Albert a basket warehouseman, Sylvia a lace mender, Florence, Leslie, Clifford (8), Clarice (7) and their daughter, May (1). Harriet died in 1909 and in 1911 William was living at 255 Gladstone Street, Hyson Green, Nottingham, with three of his seven children, Leslie, a lace maker, Clifford, a dairy hand, and May. Also in the household was William's sister-in-law, Matilda Reavill (b. 24 August 1869), who was his housekeeper. William married Matilda Reavill in 1912 (as permitted under The Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907) and they had at least two children: Vincent Stanley (b. 10 August 1912) and Annie Winifred (b. 23 October 1917). The later CWGC record gives William's address as 40 Exeter Street, Sherwood Rise, Nottingham. William died in 1938 and in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, his widow Matilda was living at 40 Exeter Street with her sister's child, May, a toiletries packer, and her two children Vincent, a lorry/van driver and packer, and Annie, an embroidery machinist. Matilda died in 1960, May in 1977, Vincent in 1985 and Annie in 1995. Of Leslie's five siblings: Albert Edward married Minnie Alice McGowan in 1903 and they had at least two children, Frank and Leonard. In 1911 the family was living on Forster Street, Radford; Albert was a warehouseman. Minnie died in March 1923 and Albert in February 1935. Sylvia Augusta married Titus Aram (b. 28 September 1881) in 1905 and in 1911 they were living on Vernon Road, Old Basford, with their daughter Phyllis Edna (3) the only one of three children to survive infancy. In 1939 Sylvia, Titus, a general labourer, and their son Walter (b. 1917), a railway parcels porter, were living in Nottingham. Sylvia died on 5 January 1947. Florence Annie Hephzibah married Walter Wroughton (b. 13 December 1886 in 1910 and in 1911 they were living on Fox Grove, Basford. In 1939 Florence, Walter a general labourer, and their son Leslie (b. 1918) a munitions worker, were living in Nottingham. Florence died on 27 February 1956. Clifford Alexander married Kate Picker (b. 28 March 1892) in 1914. He served in the Gloucestershire Regiment (35637 Private) in the war. In 1920 he was recorded in a city directory living on Stanley Avenue, Leslie Road, Forest Fields; occupation dairyman. Clifford died in January 1937. His widow Kate (d. 1969) and their daughter Betty (b. 1926) were still living at the same address in 1939. The record of one other member of the household remains closed and may have been of either his son or second daughter Mabel. Mabel married Edward Barber RN DSM, the son of Mr and Mrs Barber, Mansfield Road, Nottingham, on 25 November 1944. Clarice was a servant in the household of Ann Lane, a pork butcher/shopkeeper (own account), on North Gate, Bulwell, in 1911. She has not yet been traced after this date.
He was a lace maker.
31 Jul 1917
439491 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Nottingham
1st Bn The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment)
1st Bn The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment), previously 4th Bn 'A' Coy. Leslie was serving at home in October 1916 as there is a record (probably the only surviving document from his service record) of being granted furlough from 4th Bn North Staffordshire Regiment at Marske-by-Sea from 10 October 1916 to 16 October 1916. Leslie William was killed in action on 21 July 1917. He was buried on one of the battlefields east and south-east of Ypres (Ieper), Belgium, and his grave was brought into the Oxford Road Cemetery after the Armistice. (Grave ref. II.C.13). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Oxford Road Cemetery (extract): 'Oxford Road was the name given to a road running behind the support trenches, from a point west of the village of Wieltje south-eastwards to the Potijze-Zonnebeke road. Plot I is the original Oxford Road Cemetery and was used by the units fighting on this front from August 1917 to April 1918. In October 1917, another cemetery, known as Oxford Road Cemetery No.2, was started close by and now forms Plot V of the cemetery as it appears today. After the Armistice, Plots II, III and IV were added when scattered graves from the battlefields east and south-east of Ypres (now Ieper) were brought into the cemetery. There are now 851 Commonwealth casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery.' (www.cwgc.org)
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father William was his legatee.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Oxford Road Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
    Leslie William Sykes - Buried in Oxford Road Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)