Born in London in the 2nd quarter of 1896, Leslie Kahn was the first surviving son of Charles Jasmine and Blanche Rachel Kahn. We have little documented information about him.
We know that he was a captain in the Royal Naval Air Service during WW1. Reputedly, he served with Ivor Novello, with whom he established an informal group of officers calling themselves ‘The Quirks.”
In 1918, Leslie married Florence Allert (born 1896 in West Derby, Liverpool) in Richmond, Surrey. They had a son, Charles Anthony Kahn-Rein, born in Richmond on 20 April 1926. Florence died in 1948 and her death was registered under the name of Kahn-Rein, although they appear to have married under the name of Kahn.
At some stage, therefore, Leslie must have changed his name to Kahn-Rein. His father Charles acquired the hearing aid manufacturer F. C. Rein & Sons and we assume the name was adopted by Leslie for commercial advantage, although this is subject to verification.
On 6th November 1919, Leslie was initiated into freemasonry, joining his father’s lodge Willing No. 2893 in London. Then he signed his name as Kahn and described himself as an artist living in Barnes (his father’s address). He remained a member until 1951 when he resigned.
As did most of his uncles and aunts, Leslie made numerous trips to the USA. In 1922, for example, the passenger list of the ‘Carmania’ records him as an acoustic expert. In 1925, he arrived at Liverpool from the USA on board the ‘Celtic.’ These trips reinforce our belief that we must have close relations in the USA – if we could but trace them.
In July 1925, probate of his father’s estate was granted to Leslie Kahn jointly with his two brothers, Aubrey and Victor. Then Leslie’s occupation was cited as optician. Apparently he was still using the name Kahn then. Thus, our assumption is that Leslie adopted the surname Kahn-Rein in either late 1925 or early 1926.
In 1950, Leslie Kahn-Rein married Marie Sly (born 1922 in Brighton, Sussex. They had one daughter, still living.
Reputedly, Leslie became a member of both the Royal College of Surgeons and the Physical Society. He was a proprietor of his own hearing aid business (F. C. Rein & Sons) operating from Charing Cross, London, although he lived in Barnes, Middlesex. He made a name for himself inventing hearing devices for Spitfire pilots to wear in their helmets during WW2 and later an innovative device to help children hear. The British Medical Journal acknowledged his contribution to hearing aid research in the 18th June 1932 edition (p.1140) and in subsequent issues.
He died on 23 November 1956 in Surrey.
Research into the history of Leslie Victor and his family continues. If you have any information about his life, or have comments/corrections, please email us at: email@example.com.