Old Silhillian, Captain Leslie Kelham Sands, 10th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, died of wounds on 28th April 1916 at 2 Casualty Clearing Station, Bailleul, France. He was born on 5th January 1892 in Small Heath, Birmingham, where his father, Rev. Hubert Sands, was vicar at St Oswald’s Church. He was the second of five children: Olive Frances (1890-1969); Havilland Hubert Allport (1896-1970); Arthur Langdale (1899-1954) and Thomas Blakemore (1906-1980).
His brothers Havilland and Arthur both served in the war – Havilland also served as a Second Lieutenant, later Captain, with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was seriously wounded; Arthur was a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Garrison Artillery, first entering a Theatre of War on 25th July 1918. Havilland followed in his father’s footsteps and became ordained as a clergyman in 1922.
Newspaper reports of Leslie’s death mention that he was educated at King Edward’s school, but his name is also recorded on Solihull School’s war memorial. Solihull School During the First World War 1914-19 by John Loynton indicates that he left the school in 1909, when he would have been 17. The 1911 census shows him still living at the family home, St Oswald’s Vicarage, aged 19, and apparently still at school. Newspaper reports indicate that he went on to study at Oriel College, Oxford.
DEATH OF CAPT. L. K. SANDSThe death is announced from wounds received on Easter Day of Capt. Leslie Kelham Sands, Lancashire Fusiliers, the eldest son of the Rev. Hubert Sands, vicar of Burbage, Wilts, formerly vicar of St Oswald’s, Birmingham. He was born in 1892, and educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and at Oriel College, Oxford. He applied for a commission on the outbreak of war, and shortly afterwards was gazetted to the Lancashire Fusiliers, and went out to the front in July 1915.
Captain Leslie Sands is buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension Nord, on the French/Belgian border. On the centenary of his death, these photos were taken by a visitor to a family grave in the same row. She has given us permission to publish the photos here and says that she would like any family members to know that there was someone from England at Captain Sands’ grave on the 100th anniversary of his death, thinking of him.
If you have any further information about the Sands family and their connection with Solihull School, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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