Edwards, Edwin

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Edwin Edwards (Edward Edwards)

33327, Private, 2nd Garrison Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Died of illness, 3 December 1915, aged 36
Buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery

CWGC registered (Son of Robert and Emma Edwards, of 1, Minafon, Bangor; husband of Annie Edwards, of 5, Bodafon St, Llandudno)


Edwin Edwards was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1879. He was the son of Welsh parents, Robert Edwards and Emma Edwards (née Defferd). Robert Edwards was a stonemason. In 1881, the family was living at 9 Little John Street, Lancaster and Edwin was the youngest of four brothers, the others being Robert, William and John. In 1891, the family, now headed by Emma, was living at 21 Kyffyn Square, Bangor. In 1901 Edwin (as Edward), a general labourer, was living with his sister and brother-in-law, Ellen (mother of David Edwards – qv) and Frank Beswick, at 1 Prospect Terrace, Llandudno.

Edwin began his military career in the 1st Cheshire Royal Garrison Artillery (Volunteers). He converted to be a full-time soldier on 22 July 1902 when he signed up at Birkenhead for three years in the colours and nine years in the reserve of the Royal Field Artillery. Claiming to be aged 21 years and 10 months, he was probably a year older. His regimental number was 25491 and he joined at No 5 Depot at Athlone, Ireland on 24 July 1902. After his three years with the colours, which included 70 days in South Africa with the 44th Battery RFA, he transferred to the reserve on 22 July 1905.

The 1911 Census for Wales records Edwin Edwards living in lodgings at “Glyn Dar”, Taliesin Street, Llandudno working at the gasworks as a coal porter. Later that month, he married Annie Hughes (related to John Hughes – qv) at the Tabernacl Welsh Baptist Chapel and they lived at 11 Bodafon Street, Llandudno. They had two children: Gwynfryn on 22 December 1912 and Robert Isaac on 2 August 1915.

On 22 July 1914, Edwin re-engaged with the RFA to serve till 1916 and on 7 August 1914 he was mobilised at Athlone. He served with the 24th Reserve Battery but was discharged at Woolwich on 2 January 1915 as being physically unfit.

Undeterred, on 23 August 1915, Edwin Edwards (as Edward Edwards) enlisted into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Llandudno for Home Service. He joined the regiment at its Wrexham depot on 26 August and was posted initially to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion on 30 August. He was posted again to the 2nd Garrison Battalion on 11 November 1915. The Battalion had formed at Wigan the previous month. Garrison Battalions were formed from soldiers who were unsuitable to fight in regular infantry battalions and were used to guard garrisons, often overseas, freeing regular battalions for active service. The 2nd Garrison Battalion RWF moved to Cairo in April 1916.

Edwin Edwards died at Llandudno on 3 December 1915 of stomach cancer aged 36. He was buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Tabernacl Chapel, Llandudno

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