Ensor, John Leslie. Died 12th Jul 1917

John was the son of John Charles and Florence (nee Smith) Ensor, born in Rugby in 1896, and baptised at St Andrews Church on 28 August. The family were living at 29 Charlotte Street, his father was a joiner.   His parents were both born in Rugby and married in Rugby district in 1893, but not in the parish church.

The family continued to live at 29 Charlotte Street in 1901 and 1911. They had four children, Claude Moore born 1894, John Leslie (named as Leslie in 1901), Doris Eileen b 1900 and Horace William b 1902. By 1911 Claude was a builder’s clerk and Leslie an errand boy, the other two children were at school.

The grave register of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that he enlisted at Nottingham in September 1914 and was twice wounded, and that his parents were of St Ann’s Street, Nottingham.   It seems as if the family moved to Nottingham before the outbreak of war. Leslie was wounded twice during his service.

Leslie enlisted at Nottingham in September 1914 and joined the 11th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC) as Rifleman number R/3748, later being moved to the 2nd Battalion, probably on being sent to the war zone. He embarked to France on 21 July 1915, and the War Diary on Ancestry.com records that the new draft of 58 men and a corporal arrived on 2 August to join the 2nd Battalion at Vermelles near Loos. There was a strong assault on the German lines on 25 September which included the use of gas, but the wind changed direction and blew the gas back into the soldiers badly affecting them. However they reached their objective and the Germans there surrendered at a cost to the KRRC of 81 killed, 193 wounded, 149 missing and 75 gassed.

The war diary also reports that upon inspection of the German defences after the surrender, they were found to be mostly bluff, although the trenches were clean and in good order. “The wire along the communications trenches was made of thistles planted in two rows which at a short distance looked like strong wire”.

During 1916 the KRRC was involved on the Somme in the Battles of Albert, Bazentin, Pozieres,Fleur Courcelette and Morval.

British units returned to the Nieuport sector of the Western Front in June 1917, when the 32nd Division relieved French troops stationed there in preparation for planned Allied landings on German-held territory along the Belgian coast. German marines launched a pre-emptive attack against the British forces on the river Yser in July and the landings, codenamed ‘Operation Hush’, never took place. Over 260 men commemorated on the Nieuport Memorial, which include Leslie Ensor, were killed or mortally wounded during heavy fighting with units of the German Marine-Korps Flandern on 10 July 1917.

Nieuport Memorial

Leslie was awarded the Victory and British War Medals and the 1915 Star.



Tomlinson, William. Died 30 Jul 1915


William Tomlinson was born at Hyson Green in Nottingham in 1891. He was the youngest child of the 7 living children of Henry, a Lacemaker, and Harriet Tomlinson. In 1911 he was working as a Carriage Hand in a Lace Factory in Nottingham.

On 28 December that year he moved with his parents to 20 James Street Rugby as his elder brother Ernest’s wife had committed suicide by drowning in the Brownsover canal leaving 15 month old baby Jim to be looked after.

William then worked in the Pattern Shop at the BTH Rugby. He was 5’6″ tall and 35 days short of his 23rd birthday when he and his elder brother Ernest enlisted with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 7th Battalion on 3 September 1914 and were posted to Aldershot on 5 September.


On 19 May 1915 they landed at Boulogne and fought in France and Flanders. The British Infantry had captured Hooge on 19 July but on 30 July the Germans used their new flame throwers and reclaimed their positions.

William R/79 a Rifleman was shot and killed on 31 July 1915 and his brother Ernest was shot in the head & badly injured at the same time.

William was awarded the British Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Photo of William Tomlinson in February 1914.

Photo of William Tomlinson in February 1914.