2nd Lieutenant, Northumberland Fusiliers
Aged 12.1, Class II-Middle: 'Bright, cheerful and of good tone. Has worked well'
Leslie Wallace Ablett was born 9 June 1897, the son of John Joseph and Caroline Ablett (nee Church) of Streatham. John was a buyer of wholesale drapery and with Caroline he had two sons, born ten years apart. Leslie was born in Withington in Lancashire (now a suburb of Manchester) and was baptised at St Catherine's Church, Hatcham, near Nunhead in London. The family had origins in Runcorn in Cheshire and before that to Kennington in London.
In 1897 the family lived at 327 Ivydale Road, Hatcham, near Nunhead; in 1901 they lived at Rye Hill Park, Camberwell; and by 1911 they had moved to Eardley Road in Streatham. By the time Leslie was killed in 1917 his address for probate was 172 Portobello Road, Notting Hill. Leslie attended Alleyn’s from 1908 to 1913, having previously attended Streatham High School. His occupation on leaving school aged 16 was a clerk.
After the outbreak of the First World War, Leslie enlisted in the British Expeditionary Force as a rifleman and joined the 28 Company of London (Artists Regiment) of the Northumberland Fusiliers, the second largest Regiment in the British Army. During his time overseas, he saw service in France and Flanders and was involved in a number of major British operations. Leslie was killed in action during the fierce fighting that took place during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.
He was killed on 15th October as the BEF slowly advanced towards Passchendaele during the second phase of battle and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. His School house records incorrectly indicate he was buried at Reutel, East of Ypres. In fact his body was only found in 2018 and he was buried on 17th November 2021 at Tyne Cot cemetery in Belgium, 104 years after he died.