BORN – Oswestry
HOMEFRONT – Place / Occupation / St Oswald’s Church
JOB – Shop Assistant
UNIT – 11 Bn Leicestershire Regiment (Pioneers). Leicestershire Regiment WW1 ‘The Tigers’
RANK – Private 24036
THEATRE – Ypres / Peselhoek. 11 Bn Leicestershire Regiment (Pioneers). 13 May 1916.
DIED – DoW 13 May 1916. Aged 33.
BURIED – Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. (CWGC)
BORN – Oswestry
Edward was born in Oswestry in 1883 and was the only son and youngest child of Edward, a carpenter, and Mary who lived at 57 Upper Brook Street. He had four sisters: Annie, Emily Jennie and Jessie. By the time of the 1901 Census two of the girls had left home and a lodger had joined the household- a ’clerk in holy orders’ and schoolmaster. The house is now recorded as 58 Brook Street. Edward, now 17, is working as a shop assistant at a grocer’s in town. By 1911 he is still living with his parents. There is a different lodger now – another schoolmaster.
There are no indications as to why Edward joined the Leicestershire Regiment or why he left Oswestry in the first place; but he enlisted at Leicester and joined the 11th, the Regiment’s Pioneer battalion.
The battalion was mobilised in March 1916 and arrived in France at the end of the month, proceeding by train and by march from Le Havre to Houtkerke via Poperinghe and Hazebrouk where they were inspected by Maj-Gen Ross, commanding the 6th Division. The officers and men continued receiving instruction in Infantry fighting (bombing courses, musketry, bayonet fighting) whilst being instructed in Field Work by the 12th Field Co. R.E. The battalion was soon at work constructing a new Rifle Range, building new and repairing existing roads, repairing trenches, working in the R.E. workshop and many other kinds of heavy labour. Although there were regular temporary losses of men through sickness the battalion did not lose a man to enemy action until April 26th 1916 when the German artillery shelled the R.E. workshop and one man was killed. Edward was stationed at camp F at the time of his death in the area behind Ypres and was involved in road maintenance and trench digging at Peselhoek. The Battalion’s War Diary records that three men were wounded on the 12th May and that one man had died of his wounds in hospital the following day. This was Edward.