L. W. Oakes
Service no. 50044
Private, Royal Fusiliers, 26th Battalion
Assumed dead 2 April 1918, aged 19
Leonard William Oakes was baptised at All Saints, Devonshire Road, South Lambeth on 26 August 1898, the son of John Thomas Oakes and Mary (née Spearing).
The service medals and awards rolls show that Leonard William Oakes first joined the 10th Battalion, was moved to the 23rd and then the 26th. For unknown reasons, his name is not included in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database.
Information from the censuses
In 1911 Leonard William Oakes, 12, lived at 64 Paradise Road, Clapham with his widowed father, John Thomas Oakes, 56, a platelayer for the railway from Burton-on-Trent, and four of his five siblings. Lillie Anna Oakes, 28, born in Wilton, kept house. Alfred John Oakes, 22, was a welder in a wheel works. Allan Henry Oakes, 21, railway porter. Leonard Gosmay, a single 24-year-old carpet salesman from Kidderminster, boarded. The latter three were born in London.
In 1901 Oakes lived with his family at 10 Riverhall Street, South Lambeth. His mother, Mary Oakes, 47, was from Stowell, Somersetshire. In 1891 the family lived at 170 Wandsworth Road with two lodgers: James Gillard, 23, a fitter’s assistant from Drayton, Somerset, and Ernest H. Stenning, 21, an engine cleaner born in Lambeth.
The household also included Maurice G. Spearing, a 14-year-old engine cleaner described as “stepson” (ie Mary’s son from a previous marriage) born in Hambridge, Somerset. The 1881 census reveals that at the age of four, Maurice was with his step-grandparents, carpet weaver Samuel and Ann Oaks, and their two sons, William and John, in Burcombe, Wiltshire.