Photographs courtesy of Lesley Williams


Born: 14th September 1891, Ipswich.

Died: 18th February 1919; age 27; Gordon Villa, 21, St. John’s Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk – of Influenza & Pneumonia – would have survived if it was not for his lung wound. Served 3 years & 105 days.

Residence: Hamilton House, Hamilton Road Ipswich.

Occupation: Elementary School Teacher.

Enlistment Details: Date: 6th November 1915; Age: 24 years & 3 months. Height 5ft & 5ins.


Wounded in the Field: 25th September 1916 – Gun shot wound to head, spine, chest & right shoulder.

Discharged to 14, Beaconsfield Terrace, Woodbridge, Suffolk – Right Shoulder – Gun Shot Wound at Les Boeufs, disability permanent. Character – Good.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 42752

Regiment: Durham Light Infantry, 14th Battalion.


Medals Awarded: Victory & British War.


Grave Reference:


Woodbridge Cemetery,




Relatives Notified: Son of Francis Frederick & Alice May Reeve, of Ipswich; husband of Elforda Alice Reeve, of Hinderter Rector, Norfolk.




1901   29, Silent Street, Ipswich.


Leslie was 9 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Francis Frederick Reeve, 44, a Clerk – Iron Foundry, born Ipswich.

Alice Maud Mary Reeve (nee Friend), 44, born Wenhaston, Suffolk.

Frances Alice Mary Reeve, 19, a Student – Teacher College, born Lynton, Devonshire.

Elsie Emily Reeve, 12, born Lynton, Devonshire.

Robert Bernard Reeve, 4, born Ipswich.

1 general domestic servant.


1911   29, Silent Street, Ipswich.


Leslie was 19 years old, a Student – Elementary Teacher. He was living with his parents & siblings.

Francis, 54, a Clerk – Agricultural Engineers Office.

Alice, 54,

Frances, 29, a Certificated Teacher – Secondary School teacher – Ipswich Town Council.

Elsie, 22.

Robert, 14.


Leslie was educated at the British School and the Ipswich Municipal Secondary School for Boys.

In December 1901, 10 year old Leslie was 1 of 5 boys, to sit the examination for one of the two scholarships that would become vacant at the end of the year at the Middle School for Boys. The scholarships were awarded by the Endowed Schools Committee, for the sons and daughters of Freemen at Ipswich. Throughout the year ten scholarships were awarded to boys for a place at the Middle School for Boys, and five places awarded to girls for a place at the Middle School for Girls. After the examination, Leslie was awarded the scholarship. The other vacant scholarship was not awarded, as no other applicant adjuded worthy to take it.

In July 1907, Leslie was 1 of 16 students from the Ipswich Municipal Secondary School for Boys who sat and passed the Cambridge University Junior Local Examinations. Leslie was awarded First Class Honours, and a Distinction in French. He was also placed equal 11th in French.


On the 7th August 1917, Leslie married Elfonda Alice Oats, born 1891, Yatton Keynell, Wiltshire.


On the 22nd August 1921 – Mrs E.A.Shaw received her late husband’s British War medal.


Leslie is also remembered on the war memorial at Woodbridge, Suffolk and at Museum Street Methodist Church, Ipswich and at Northgate High School. Formerly Ipswich Grammar School for Boys.


Leslie with a young refugee from Belgium


A family note by Lesley Williams:

Leslie Haydn Reeve was my Great Uncle, after whom I am named. He was the brother of my grandmother, Frances Alice Mary Riches nee Reeve. He died two weeks after the birth of my mother. Sadly his grave at Woodbridge was destroyed by vandals in 2004, but I do have photographs of the grave and a transcription of the inscription that I made in 1982. It was his right shoulder and lung which were damaged and he was unable to raise his right arm above half way.


Family up-date – September 2019

This year marks the centenary of LHR’s death, and I decided I would like to find his resting place and mark it again with a Royal British Legion poppy cross. So, I went again to Woodbridge old cemetery, armed with a photo of the grave taken in 1979, by which I hoped to identify the grave. A very helpful young man who was working in the cemetery took an interest in what I was doing and joined in the search. We found what we thought was the place and he left me in contemplation. Five minutes later he came running back to tell me he’d found the grave not far from where I was standing, and even better, the grave is whole and undamaged.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was! So, I placed my cross on Uncle Leslie’s grave to show that his family have not forgotten him.

Durham Light Infantry, 14th Battalion



One Comment

  • A CWGC but a private grave – inscription, In loving memory // of // Leslie Haydn Reeve // The beloved husband of // Eflorda Alice Reeve // died Februsary 18 1919 aged 27 years // Praise in the souls of Heroes, Ranging Free // The Glorious High Way of Eternity! // Praise in the valiant which their souls sustained // Praise in the well-worn rest they have attainted // Rest in the Lord


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