CFHS code : ED76
Parish : St Edward
Inscription : MM2 177157 Private LC SPARKES Army Service Corps 4th July 1916 age 32
Monument : Headstone (Commonwealth war grave)
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Lat Lon : 52.203164, 0.13702966 – click here for location
Commonwealth war grave in the parish area of St Edward.
MM2 177157 Private
Army Service Corps
4th July 1916 age 32
Leonard Charles Sparkes (1885–1916)
Private (M2/177157) in the MT Company, Army Service Corps. He died of wounds in Netley Hospital, Hampshire on 4 July 1916, at the age of 32. He is buried in Mill Road Cemetery and is commemorated on the war memorial at St. Luke’s Church, Cambridge and on the war memorial at the Cambridge Guildhall.
Leonard was born in 1886 in Cambridge. He was one of ten children born to James Sparkes and Elizabeth Sparkes (née Wayman). His father was a railway porter. The family grew up at 5 Morleys Yard, 6 and then 12 Great Eastern Street (Romsey), Cambridge. Leonard was an errand boy before becoming a domestic coachman. He married Emma Claydon in 1910 in Cambridge. They had a daughter: Queenie Mary Elizabeth (1911–78). The family lived at 37 Abbey Walk, Cambridge. Before the war he worked as a private chauffeur for Dr Robert Elwell Naish, a physician based in Newmarket Road, Cambridge. Leonard had been a member and committee member of the Beaconsfield Club (a Working Men’s Club).
Leonard enlisted as a Private (M2/177157) in the MT Company, Army Service Corps. He died of wounds in Netley Hospital, Hampshire on 4 July 1916 just six weeks after enlisting. His widow had received two letters and a telegram with conflicting accounts as to how he had been wounded in the head. She travelled to the hospital but Leonard had died half an hour before her arrival. Leonard was entitled to the Victory medal and the British War medal. His body was brought back to Cambridge and buried in Mill Road Cemetery. (See download for his obituary.)
Leonard Charles Sparkes obituary
Leonard’s younger sister was Lily May Sparkes (1888-1980). She married Sidney Frank Brown in 1916 in Cambridge. Sidney was a coal worker before the war. The couple lived at 12 Great Eastern Street (in Romsey Town), Cambridge. Sidney enlisted in Cambridge as Private (4289) of the Cambridgeshire Regiment. He transferred and became Private (202992), 4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. He was killed in action 23 March 1918 aged 25. He has no known grave but he is commemorated on Panel 31 and 32, Pozières Memorial, France. He is also commemorated on the Chesterton War Memorial and the Cambridge Guildhall War Memorial. Lily remarried to Charles Doggett in 1922 in Cambridge with whom she had two children.
War Graves Photographic Record
Census returns for England: 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837–1915
England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837–1915
England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837–1915
England & Wales, Death Index, 1916–2007
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914–1919
UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921
Web: International, Find A Grave Index
Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 7 July 1916
By Emma Easterbrook and Ian Bent