Killed in Action on Thursday, 23rd November 1916, age 19.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 7 B of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
7th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 33rd Brigade of 11th Division.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.
First landed Balkans, 5th December 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.
Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Mark's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.
Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/753041/
30 Cleton Street, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Albert E. Edwards (37, Furnace Man in Iron Works, born Bridgnorth), his wife Mary A. (31, born Tipton), and their 4 children: James E. (11, born Tipton), Alfred (5, born Tipton), Samuel (3, born Tipton), and Eliza (4 months, born Tipton).
23 Cleton Street, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Albert Edwards (46, Sheet Metal Worker, born Bridgnorth), his wife Mary Ann (41, born Tividale), and their 6 surviving children of 11: Ernest (21, working in Nail Founders, born Tipton), Alfred (15, working in Nail Founders, born Tipton), Samuel (13, Scholar, born Tipton), Bertha (8, born Tipton), James (6, born Tipton), and Emma (2, born Tipton).
The 7th Battalion South Staffs landed at Suvla Bay on 7th August 1915, Samuel arrived in a draft of reinforcements on 5th December. The South Staffs were evacuated in late December and moved to Egypt via Imbros, and then on to France in July 1916.
The 7th Battalion took up positions in the Bois D'Hollande area of Beaucourt sur Ancre in mid-November 1916, relieving the Royal Naval Division. These were outpost positions at the extreme eastern end of the advance up the Ancre Valley and as such were effectively facing German 2nd line trenches to the North East, East and South.
The War Diary of 23rd November says: "No infantry activity except that the enemy were busy in PUISIEUX trench. Shelling again severe at times. Casualties: 8 killed, 5 wounded, 2 Shell Shock." Amongst the 8 men killed was Private 17831 Samuel Edwards, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. He is also commemorated on the Tipton Memorial and the St. Mark's Memorial.
The War Diary entry concludes with a summary:
"The last 10 days have perhaps been the most trying experienced by the battalion, cold was often intense, though not sufficient to dry the ground which had been soaked by the rains of the previous week. The men were continuously exposed to accurate shellfire, from which there was no adequate cover and there was consequently a constant drain in casualties. The total was great:- 26 killed and 70 wounded : the seriousness of the losses being increased by the number of good NCOs and men hit. It is excellent to be able to record that in spite of these losses and hard experiences the morale of the battalion was never better".
Lt-Colonel D.T. Seckham, C.O. 7th South Staffs Regiment.
Birmingham Daily Post 5th January 1917
RANK AND FILE: MIDLANDS MEN.
The following casualties amongst warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men are reported under various dates:
South Staffords- Edwards, 17831, S., (Tipton).