Middlesex; North Lancashire
15th (Duke of Cambridge’s Own)
Place of birth:
Date of death:
Cause of death:
Grave or panel reference:
Name of father:
Name of siblings:
Victor George; Cecil Guy; Margery
Name(s) of children:
Date of birth:
Place of enlistment:
Age at death:
Cemetery or memorial:
Name of mother:
Ellen Kate, nee Young
Name of spouse:
Helen Catherine Agnes Edwards, nee Veitch
1911 census - 129 Stapleton Hall Road
Leslie Edwards was the youngest of three brothers who served in the war, and one of eight cousins in the Edwards family to serve, five of whom are commemorated at St Mellitus.
In the 1911 census Leslie, aged 13, is recorded as a scholar living with his parents George and Ellen Kate, brothers Cecil and Victor, sister Margery, and two domestic servants in a prosperous part of Stroud Green. His father was a Game and Poultry Salesman with his own business.
Leslie enlisted in the 15th (Reserve) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) some time before March 1915 and was quickly promoted to Temporary 2nd Lieutenant. He was further promoted and by July 1917 he was an Acting Captain. He was then attached to the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, though it is not clear to which Battalion.
On 26 November 1917, Leslie was wounded in action, but there are scant details of where or how. The London Gazette of 15 January 1918 includes in its list of Distinguished Service, Leslie Edwards of the North Lancashire Regiment. Leslie was awarded the Military Cross, an honour given for ‘conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty’. The citation in the Supplement to the London Gazette of 25 April 1918 reads ‘He was in command of a platoon holding an advance position in shell holes, and continually patrolled his posts during four hostile barrages to ensure that all was ready for the anticipated enemy attack. After relief, when his platoon was caught in a heavy barrage, he directed the men from shell hole to shell hole, and, as soon as he had got them into safety, returned through the barrage to attend to the wounded.’ Some battalions of the Loyal North Lancs were fighting on the Western Front; others in Mesopotamia.
In June 1918, whilst a serving officer, Leslie married Helen Veitch at Hornsey Parish Church. His occupation was given in the Register as ‘Soldier- Com. Officer’, and his address Eaton Hall, Chester. This was a wartime military hospital in a stately home belonging to the Duke of Westminster. Leslie was presumably recovering from his injuries.
After the war Leslie lived in Muswell Hill. He was initiated as a freemason in the East Anglian Lodge aged 24 on 15 March 1920, along with his brothers Cecil and Victor. His profession was given as ‘Wharfinger’, the keeper or owner of a wharf.
Leslie’s brother Victor, who worked in the family business, served briefly in the Royal Navy in 1918/19. His brother Cecil, who also served in the Army and in 1919 joined Leslie in the North Lancashire Regiment, and his cousins Herbert, who was killed in action, John and Oscar are all commemorated at St Mellitus.