Leslie BLOOMFIELD, Private, Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Died in Oxford from wounds having been repatriated. Aged 27
A second telegram told her that Leslie was "dangerously ill." The name of the hospital was given, with instructions on how to get there. So, early on Wednesday morning, Mrs. Bloomfield set out on 180- mile journey to see her son in hospital.
Leslie Bloomfield, now 27, is Mrs. Bloomfield's only son. He was captured at Crete on June 1, 1941. Before the war he was with the Marconi Company at Chelmsford."
A week later the same newspaper reported:
" STILL IN HOSPITAL Mrs. Bloomfield, of South Primrose Hill, Chelmsford, has seen her son, Pte. Leslie Bloomfield, R.A.O.C., in hospital at Chester. He is very ill, but able to speak quite well. With the best of medical attention, it is hoped he may make a good recovery. He is a great favourite in the ward."
The following month the same newspaper reported:
"GERMAN PIPE AS SOUVENIR. Repatriated Chelmsford Man is Home.
Private Leslie Bloomlield, first of the repatriated British prisoners war from Germany to be landed England, has been moved from hospital at Chester to another hospital at Oxtord.
Leslie Bloomfield is the son of Mrs. Bloomheld, of South Primrose Hill, Chelmsford. "Hullo, mum, I'm so glad to be back", was how Leslie greeted his mother when she first saw him in hospital at Chester. He is ill and cannot speak much above a whisper. "All that matters now is that I'm back in dear old England, and I'm going to get well. I want to forget the past."
Of Red Cross parcels, Leslie said: "They saved our lives." While in a prison camp, Leslie became good light-weight boxer. In 1941 he won a medal in a contest among his fellow prisoners. This simple little medal, German meerschaum pipe, and hundreds of photographs — many of them taken in prison are among Leslie's possessions which have now reached his mother."
On 6th June 1944 Leslie died in an hospital at St Hugh's College, Oxford, Oxfordshire as a result of his injuries, having been in hospital since his repatriation.
Leslie was aged 27.
His funeral was held at Chelmsford Borough Cemetery on 10th June 1944, conducted by the Rev. D. Ford. He was buried in grave A5684. The burial register gave his ‘usual abode’ as 29 South Primrose Hill.
Leslie left an estate valued at £287 9s. 2d.
Leslie Bloomfield was born in London and brought up in Chelmsford. Before the war he worked for Marconi's in Chelmsford. He joined the army in October 1940 and was wounded and captured by the Germans in Crete the following June. He was repatriated in October 1943 and remained in hospital until his death in June 1944. His home was in South Primrose Hill.
Leslie was born in London in 1917 the only child of Elizabeth Ann Bloomfield.
Prior to the war he worked in the stores at Marconi's factory in Chelmsford.
He joined up in October 1940 and served in Greece and Crete. On 1st June 1941 Leslie was captured by the Germans in Crete while serving as Private 7649846 in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He had suffered severe head injuries. News of his captivity reached home in September 1941.
In October 1943 he was the first of 800 sick and blind prisoners of war repatriated from Germany to England on board the 17,000 ton hospital ship S.S. Atlantis.
A local newspaper reported:
"Home From Nazi Prison: Chelmsfordian First Ashore.
When the S.S. Atlantis berthed at Liverpool on Tuesday with nearly 800 sick and blinded repatriated prisoners of war from Germany, the first man to be brought ashore was Private Leslie Bloomfield, of the R.A.O.C., whose home is South Primrose Hilt, Chelmsford.
Private Bloomfield, wearing dark blue glasses, was carried from the ship on a stretcher. At home, his mother received a telegram from him stating that he had "arrived safely in England," and was going into hospital for medical examination.