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Saturday 5th December 2020  

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Quorn WW1 Roll of Honour - Ezra Wykes

Died 4th December 1917, aged 29
Died of wounds, the Somme, France

The 1901 census finds 12 year old Ezra Wykes, the youngest child of Ezra and Anne Wykes, living with his widowed mother about half way down Meeting Street. He had been born in Quorn, as had his six brothers and sisters. His mother Anne died in 1910, after the family had moved to Church Lane, and the 1911 census shows Ezra working at Wright’s factory in the packing department and living with his now married eldest sister, Sarah Ann Bancroft at 13 Church Lane.

In 1912, Ezra married Eliza Alice Bonner, a local girl. She was the eldest daughter of John and Alice Bonner from Leicester Road. The young couple settled in Nursery Lane and in 1913, their daughter Annie was born.

When war broke out their lives changed, and Ezra enthusiastically went off to Leicester to join up, as did so many others. He served as a dispatch rider with the 6th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment, but he was wounded on the Somme late in 1917. Ezra died of his wounds on 4th December 1917 and is buried in the Tincourt New British Cemetery. His death was a double tragedy for his wife Eliza, as her only brother, Ernest Bonner had been killed just three months earlier.

Quorn Parish Magazine in January 1918, recorded the Church’s sympathy to his wife and relatives.

Eliza never remarried, and died on January 30th 1935 aged 55. She was buried in the Baptist Churchyard and her gravestone can still be seen today. Ezra’s name is included ‘in memoriam’ on his parents’ gravestone in St Bartholomew’s Churchyard and on Eliza’s parents’ gravestone in the Baptist Church. He is also commemorated on a brass plaque in Quorn Baptist Church - see under Ernest Bonner, Artefact 2333.

Ezra was distantly related to Fred Wykes from Quorn, who also died in the war. Both families had their roots in Mountsorrel, and although the research is not totally conclusive, they appear to have been second cousins, once removed.

1) A photograph of Ezra, taken from a group photograph of the Baptist Adult School.
2) 3 Church Lane (on the left with the brown door), where Ezra Wykes lived before he was married.

 view larger image
 Submitted on: 2020-01-11
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman with thanks to Malcolm Otter
 Artefact ID: 2267
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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