Private 13222 Jonathan Edwards

Killed in Action on Friday, 30th November 1917, age 34.
Commemorated on Panel 7 of Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France.

2nd/6th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 176th Brigade of 59th Division.
Formerly 13222 2nd Bn., and 13222 8th Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment.

Son of Mrs Maria Edwards, of 114, Ocker Hill, Tipton; husband of Mary Jane Edwards, of 22, Lower Dudley St, Wednesbury, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wednesbury, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 14th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. Mark's Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1752714/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
103 Toll End Road, Ocker Hill, Tipton, Staffs.
John Edwards (60, Labourer, born Shropshire), his wife Maria (61, born Linley, Shropshire), and their 3 children: Samuel (12, House Painter, born Tipton), Ellen (20, born Tipton), and Jonathan (18, Iron Worker, born Tipton).

Marriage of Jonathan Edwards and Mary Jane Kemp registered December quarter 1906 in Dudley.

1911 Census
114 Toll End Road, Ocker Hill, Tipton, Staffs.
Maria Edwards (71, Widow, born Tipton), and 3 of her 8 children: Samuel (32, House Painter, born Linley, Shropshire), Nellie (30, born Tipton), and Jonathan (30, Married, Electrical Labourer, born Tipton). There is no sign of Jonathan's wife, Mary Jane.

Personal Data

After Jonathan's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £8/10/5d (8 pounds, 10 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Mary Jane, in August 1918. His War Gratuity was £14/10/0d (14 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to Mary Jane in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Jonathan had enlisted in September 1914.

Action resulting in his death

After the initial success on the opening day of the Battle of Cambrai, the breakthrough to Cambrai was elusive. Bourlon Wood, dominating the northern end of the battlefield, was eventually captured but was under constant bombardment giving massive casualties. On 28th November the 2/6th South Staffs moved into Bourlon Wood and came under heavy bombardment, with large amounts of phosgene gas. Bourlon Wood was abandoned on the 3rd December, as it was impossible to hold against German shelling.

War Diary of 2nd/6th South Staffs.
29th November 1917, Bourlon Wood.
Enemy heavily bombarded Bourlon Wood with High Explosive and Gas shells and attacked front line positions on the 2/6th North Staffs regiment front, to which we were in support. 'A' Company advanced through the wood under heavy fire and reinforced the front line in answer to the S.O.S signal. The Company sustained several gas casualties.

30th November 1917, Bourlon Wood.
The battalion was heavily bombarded by Gas and High Explosive shells. During these two days the battalion suffered heavy causalities from gas, the whole of 'A', 'C' & 'D' Companies becoming casualties.

27 men of the 2/6th South Staffs were killed on the 30th November, Edward Malugani, Joseph Taylor and Jonathon Edwards, were from Tipton. Over the next 2 weeks, a further 55 men of the 2/6th South Staffs died, mostly due to the effects of gas in Bourlon Wood.

Jonathon Edwards has no known grave and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval.

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