Leslie Covill was born in 1891 in Ely in Cambridgeshire. His father, Isaac was a Railway Signalman, Leslie was still living with his family in Ely in 1911 and working as a Baker for the Co-Op Society.
By 1913 Leslie had moved to Leicester, living at 12 Pope Street which runs parallel to Scott Street. He married Rosetti Hopkins, the daughter of a farmer also from Ely, on 23rd April 1913 at St John the Baptist Church. Their first child Bertram Charles was born on 1st October 1913, a daughter, Sylvia Rossette would follow on 15th September 1915.
Less than a year later Leslie died of wounds at the Battle of Guillemont on 3rd September 1916 at the age of 27. He is buried at Corbie Communial Cemetery Extension in France, which holds 918 burials from the Battle of the Somme. His inscription reads ‘May He Rest In Peace’.
Leslie is also remembered in his home town of Ely, he is included on the WW1 memorial, which is in an arch on the Almonry Wall, in the Market Square, he is also on a memorial which was in the Holy Trinity Church, but now is the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral in Ely.
His wife, Rosetti was awarded a pension of 18/6 a week from 19/3/17, She remarried in 1921 and was living at 105 Evesham Road with her second husband John W Allen in 1939.
In 1925 Leslie’s son, Bertram was due to go to Cambridge University, but following his fathers death the family didn’t have the finances, instead he was educated at Soham Grammar School in Ely. During the Second World War he was a wartime naval reserve officer and received three awards for the same act of gallentry.
During the Battle of the Atlantic in 1941, the ship he was on, ‘Adams Beck’ was bombed by the Luftwaffe, the crew took to the life boats, Bartram realised that the chief engineer was missing and the ship was going to sink, Bartram swam back to reboard the ship, he found the officer trapped, he freed the man and supported him in the water until they could be rescued two hours later.
He was awarded the British Empire Medal, the Lloyd’s Silver Medal for Bravery and the Royal Humane Bronze Medal.
He died in Cambridge on 27th June 2001 aged 87. More information can be found on