Bullock, Leslie (Les)

Leslie Bullock was born on the 28th of January 1915 according to his Baptism which took place on the 4th March 1915 at St. Francis’s Church, Sandycroft.   He was the son of Thomas & Betsy Bullock (nee Evans) and they lived then at Chemistry Square, Pentre, Thomas was an Ironworker.

Thomas & Betsy married on the 17th of May 1897 at the Parish Church, Bilston, Staffordshire.   Thomas, 22, whose father was Benjamin Bullock and a Bricklayer, was a bachelor and Labourer.   His bride, Betsy Evans, was 21 and a spinster, her father, Richard Evans was a Miner.   Both their addresses were given as Foster Street.    The witnesses were – X -The mark of John DESBURY & X – The mark of Rose LANGSTONE.   Both Thomas & Betsy signed.

The 1901 census sees Thomas and Betsy still living in Bilston, at back of 35 Free Street, they were Boarders with Betsy wrongly classified as a single woman by the Enumerator, and Thomas, 26 a Briscklayer’s Labourer, both had been born in Bilston.    They were in the household of Polly Norton, a married woman, age 28, Potter, Free pot -maker and her daughter Ethel age 6.

By the 1911 census they had moved to Chemistry, Pentre, Hawarden (3 Rooms) and their family had expanded, and they had suffered losses too.   Thomas, 34, working in the Sheet Mills at the Ironworks, tells us that they had been married 10 years.    Betsy, 35, tells us that 8 children had been born and 3 had died.   Their remaining children, son William, 9, had been born in Bilston, Benjamin, 7, had been born in Little Dublin (could have been Northop Hall), Flintshire.    Clara, 5, had been born in Shotton, Flintshire and Thomas, 2, and Wilfred, 1, had been born in Pentre, Flintshire.

St. Ethelwold’s Church Parish Registers – Baptisms.

Page 33 No. 289 Born 7th February 1904 Bapt 10th Oct. 1906 Benjamin s/o Thomas & Betsy BULLOCK, Shotton, Ironworker

Page 33 No. 290 Born 21st of January 1906 Bapt 10th of Oct. 1906 Clara d/o Thomas & Betsy BULLOCK, Shotton, Ironworker.  Other children were born after that, daughter Carey in the December quarter of 1912 (Hawarden Flintshire (Mold)HAW/15A/60) and son Leslie born on the28th of  January 1915, and Bapt. 4th of March 1915 Leslie s/o Thomas & Betsy BULLOCK , Chemistry Square, Pentre, Ironworker, in St. Francis’s Church, Sandycroft.

On the 1921 census, which was taken on the 19th of June 1921 we see the family, now grown, still living at Chemistry Lane with Thomas Bullock as head of the household, he was now 47 years and 4 months old and an Ironworker at John Summers & Sons, Hawarden Bridge Steelworks, Shotton. He was ‘Out of Work.  His wife Betsy Bullock was now 44 years and 11 months old.   Their son, William Bullock was 19 years and 6 months old, single and he was a General Woker at the same company as his father and was ‘Out of Work.   They had all been born in Bilston, Staffordshire.   The rest of the children were, Benjamin Bullock, 17 years, and 5 months old, single, born in Northop Hall, Flintshire and a General Worker at the same company, also ‘Out of Work.’   Clara Bullock was 15 years and 6 months old; she had been born in Shotton, Flintshire.  Thomas Bullock was 13 years old, Wilfred Bullock 10 years and 10 months old, Caeary (sic) Bullock 8 years and 9 months old, Leslie Bullock 6 years and 6 months old, Kenneth Bullock 3 years and 7 months old and last but not least Betsy Bullock, 1 year and 1 month old, all born in Pentre, Hawarden, Flintshire.

I have no information of Leslie’s life in his childhood or teens, and by the 1939 National Register which is taken on the 29th of September 1939, he is not in the household.   He was already in the Forces as the R.W.F. Enlistment Registers tell us that he had been in the R.W.F. since his Attestation on the 18th of October 1932 and re-enlisted on the 3rd of March 1937, having been discharged on the termination of his engagement on the 17th of October 1936. This source gives a different birth date of the 26th of January 1915.    This source also tells us that on the 28th of November 1938 he was transferred to the Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery, T.A.      The R.W.F. Discharge Register states that he had been discharged on the 17th of October 1936, Time Expired, and the notes on the Discharge Book (1936) state. R/F  R.W.F. (TA) 3rd of March 1937.

By the 1939 National Register, the family were living at 57 Green Lane, Flintshire.   Thomas Bullock was born on the 15th of Feb 1874 and was a Boilerman at the Steel Works.   Betty Bullock’s date of birth was 20th Jul 1875 and like most married women on this Register was doing “Unpaid Household Duties.”   Wilfred Bullock’s date of birth was the 16th of Aug 1911, and he was a Tar Sprayer and single.   Betsy Bullock’s date of birth was the 16th of May 1920, and she was a Silk Worker, she later married Alexander Caveney in 1942 in St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton and Leslie was able to be one of her witnesses, was that before he enlisted?    Carey Parry was born on the 1st of Oct 1913 and as above with her mother Betsy she as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties,” and her husband George William Parry had been born on the 23rd of November 1914, but the year was wrong, it was 1913, corrected by the enumerator.

Carey Bullock had married in the June Quarter of 1937 to George W. Parry in St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton. (Flintshire (Mold)C115/05/E216).

As the newspaper tells us Leslie was in Normandy on D Day.

Chester Chronicle 21st October 1944 Sgt. Les BULLOCK Green Lane, Shotton (20)   KIA

KILLED IN ACTION – News has been received by his parents, of the death in action of Sergt. L. BULLOCK, aged 29, who had served with the Eighth Army in the Middle East and Central Mediterranean.    He returned to England last November and went to Normandy on D-Day.    A few weeks ago, he was mentioned as having taken part in putting out of action the first Nazi tank in Normandy.

Please read to learn a little more of Leslie’s movements and what he and the 102 Northumberland Hussars went through leading up to his death.

Northumberland Hussars

Second World War

His Casualty Card does not tell us where he died, except that he was “Killed in Action” on the 10th of September 1944.

On Casualty List 1534 (Page 25) under the list of “Wounded”, which was crossed out, he is listed among them and underneath his name was the intriguing note – “Remaining at Duty,” dated the 10th of August 1944 and written by his name was “K.I.A. CL1567/15.”    So it may be that he was wounded on the 10th of August 1944 and then died, but normally they are classed as “Died of Wounds.”   A little mystery.

On Casualty List 1567 (Page 15) Leslie is said the have been “Killed in Action on the 10th of  September 1944.

If anyone can add anything to what Leslie’s fate was please get in touch.

The CWGC Grave Concentration Report Form tells us that Leslie was initially buried at Westerloo Belgium (See the form below.), then reburied on the 26th of April 1946 where he now rests.   He is buried in the same Cemetery as William Liversage, (Please click on the link to read his story), from Sandycroft, who also died on the same day, the 10th of September 1944, they were almost certainly known to each other.

He was a member of a large family and I know that he was sadly missed, his sister Carey was my mother’s best friend, she lived in Chemistry Lane as well, and indeed they shared almost the same date of birth, Carey on the 1st and my mother on the 2nd of October.   My mother spoke fondly of Carey and the family made sure that he would be remembered by adding his name to the WW2 War Memorial in Hawarden.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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