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William Henry Edwards

Company Serjeant Major 57082 E Coy., Royal Engineers
Died 31 August 1916 aged 40
Remembered on Ash War Memorial
Buried in Fort Pitt Military Cemetery, near Maidstone, Kent

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that William was the son of Jane Caroline Collins of Cape Town South Africa, and the husband of Jane Elizabeth Edwards of 7 Carlton Gardens Herne Bay, Kent.

The 1911 census records that William was a Troop Sergt. Major RE and that he had been born in CapeTown. He had been married for 8 years, and lived with his family in Gibraltar Barracks in Aldershot.

His children, Ethel Violet Edwards (born 27 Jan 1904) and William Henry Edwards (born 6 Jan 1906) were both admitted to Walsh Memorial School on 18 Jan 1915. They lived at Stanley Villas, and the children had previously attended the National School in Princes Risborough. In 1918 Ethel was old enough to leave school, and then William left Walsh Memorial School because he was moving to Herne Bay.

William Edwards was recalled to the Army Reserve and re-enlisted at Chatham on 20 October1914. He was a blacksmith and was living at Princes Risborough, and was 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall, weighed 142 lbs, and had brown eyes and dark brown hair. He had previously served in the Royal Engineers for 21 years (Old number 26249), and had been a skilled smith and a skilled telegraphist.

He was promoted to Company Sergt Major on 21 October 1914 and transferred to 26th Signalling Co. He served in France from September 1915 to January 1916 and was awarded the 1914/15 Star.

William was admitted to the Military Hospital at Fort Pitt Chatham 22 August 1916 and died at 9.45pm on 31 August from a cerebral tumour. He was also suffering from shell shock.

In September 1916 his wife lived at 1 Ellenborough Villas, Shawfield Road, Ash. She was given a separation allowance of 24/8 and an allotment of pay of 21/-. In October she was living at 1 Stanley Villas, Shawfield Road, and claimed a pension. A list amongst the records of the Ash War Memorial committee gives the address of William Edwards' relatives as Stanley Villas, Shawfield, and Jane Elizabeth Edwards was recorded as living there in the 1918 electoral register.

Ash Great War Roll of Honour

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