George Leslie Wailes was born in Shipley in 1897 the son of George William Wailes, born 1868 in Ossett, and Julia Harrison born 1865 in Heaton. George and Julia married in Bradford in 1894.In 1901 the family were living in Shipley Fields Road. George William was working as a manager for a stuff merchants and George Leslie was their only child. Julia died in 1910 and by 1911 George and his father had moved to 42 Shipley Fields Road and George William was working as a ladies tailor from home and employing workers.
George Leslie at 14 years of age was working as an errand boy in a worsted textile warehouse. George enlisted on the 9th December 1915. He was now living at 41 Hillside Villas, Otley Road, Shipley and was 18 years and 340 days in age and working as a warehouseman. He enlisted as Private 20156 in the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. His Battalion took part in the Battle of Albert on the opening day of the Somme 1st to the 13th July 1916 and rested until the Battle of Le
Transloy 1st to 18th October. It is not known when George arrived on the Western Front or whether he took part in the battles but he is recorded as having ‘died’ on the 4th of November 1916. He was 19 years of age.George is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe. The 36th Casualty Clearing Station was at Heilly from April 1916. It was joined in May by the 38th, and in July by the 2/2nd London. The cemetery was begun in May 1916 and was used by the three medical units until April 1917 so it is likely that George died in one of
these clearing stations. The burials in this cemetery were carried out under extreme pressure and many of the graves are either too close together to be marked individually, or they contain multiple burials. Some headstones carry as many as three sets of casualty details.George left his effects to his father George William who received £2.5.11d on the 27th February 1917 and a War Gratuity of £3.0.0d on the 4th October 1919.
Researched and written by Jean Britton to whom grateful thanks