Private 15584 Edward Edwards

Edwards Edward 96 327x600

Killed in Action on Thursday, 7th June 1917, age unknown.
Commemorated on Panel 34 of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

3rd Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 7th Brigade of 25th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: West Bromwich, Resident: West Bromwich.

First landed France & Flanders, 19th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1611217/

Genealogical Data

Thanks to relative Claire Haslam for identifying the Edwards family.

1891 Census
13 Coppice Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Sarah Edwards (36, Widow, "Living on own means", born Tipton), and her 7 children: John (18, Coal Miner, born Tipton), Eli (16, Catcher in Iron forge, born Sedgley), Benjamin (12, Scholar, born Tipton), Rosina (9, Scholar, born Tipton), Mary A. (5, born Tipton), Edward (3, born Tipton), and Sarah (1, born Tipton).

1901 Census
No trace can be found.

1911 Census
91 Roebuck Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Sarah Edwards (59, Widow, born Tipton), and 3 of her 8 children: Mary A. (25, Machinist, born Tipton), Edward (23, Miner - Hewer, born Tipton), and Polly (19, Machinist, born Tipton); also 2 visitors: Simon E. Edwards (13, born West Bromwich), and John Brinney (54, Miner - Hewer, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Edward's death his sister, Mary Ann, received his outstanding army pay and allowances in August and December 1917; this totalled £8/16/4d (8 pounds, 16 shillings and 4 pence). Mary Ann also received his War Gratuity of £12/10/0d (12 pounds and 10 shillings) in October 1919. The value of War Gratuity and his date of death suggest that Edward had enlisted in October 1914.

Action resulting in his death

At 3.00am on 7th June 1917 Edward would have witnessed the explosion of the 19 mines which heralded the start of the the Battle of Messines. The mines devastated the German lines and stunned the survivors, the British advance then commenced.

The 3rd Worcesters were half a mile east of Messines with Kruisstraat Farm to their immediate left and Ontario Farm to their right. 'B' & 'C' Companies advanced and took the German front line system almost without opposition. They then began to dig-in and 'A' & 'D' Companies went through to the 2nd objective - Bell Farm. More opposition was encountered here especially from machine-gun fire, but the Worcesters carried the day.

The War Diary suggests that some Worcesters casualties may have been caused by the troops advancing too rapidly and being hit by our their barrage. 3 Officers and 24 Other Ranks were killed on the day. Amongst the 24 Other Ranks was Edward Edwards, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Newspaper Cuttings

Midland Chronicle (believed to be)
June 1917
Pte E. Edwards of the 3rd Worcesters has been reported killed on the 7th June last. His home is 45 Ebenezer Street, West Bromwich, and prior to joining the colours he worked at the Jubilee Pit.