Leslie Gordon Black was born on 11th May 1884 in Buckhurst Hill. His parents, George and Charlotte had six other children besides Leslie: three girls and three boys. George died in 1894. By 1911, the family were living at ‘St. Ann’s’, Buckingham Road, South Woodford.
Educated at Bancroft’s School in Woodford Green, Leslie became a bank clerk. He enlisted with Royal Naval Division, and was eventually made Sub-Lieutenant.
He died on 13th December 1916 in General Hospital St. Giles, Oxford. Leslie was 32 years old and left his effects to his widowed mother, Charlotte.
Research by Redbridge Museum
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Further research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian
Born in 1884 at Buckhurst Hill, son of George Ralph (Chemical Brokers Clerk) and Charlotte Black. 1901: A Pupil in Bancroft’s School, while his siblings, and widowed mother were at home, 1 St John’s Terrace, Buckhurst Hill. 1911: A London & Westminster Bank Clerk with his family at St. Ann’s in Buckingham Road, South Woodford. The family home later moved to 9 The Terrace, Woodford Green where his sister Charlotte, and mother Charlotte died in 1920 and 1930 respectively. At school he was Head Monitor, a good cricketer, footballer and singer.
He had been a Royal Naval Reservist in Edwardian times, and re-enlisted on 4th August 1914, being assigned to Benbow Battalion of the Royal Naval Division. Having fought in the unsuccessful defence of Antwerp, he was evacuated and performed armed guard duty on merchant ships while based at Deal. He was Commissioned on 30th September1915, drafted for Gallipoli on 5th December 1915. There he joined Hawke Battalion, and became “A” Platoon Commander on 07-02-16 after the Gallipoli campaign ended. The Battalion then served in France from May 1916.
At 05.45 on the misty 13th November 1916 he was wounded by shrapnel in the face and right thigh, also suffering a compound fracture of the femur while leading an advance in the Battle of Ancre, (Battle of the Somme). An undamaged German redoubt also caused many casualties among the Battalion that day. He was evacuated to 3rd Southern General Hospital at Oxford, but died there from Septicemia at 09.30 on 13th December 1916 in the presence of his mother Charlotte.
His funeral was held on Saturday 16th December 1916 at 14.45 in Woodford Parish church (where he had been a member of the choir). One of the Masters from Bancroft’s, Rev. W.C. Winterton, officiated at the graveside at St John’s Buckhurst Hill. He is commemorated there, and also above the choir stalls where he also sang.
For more information on this individual please see The Old Bancroftian website.