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‘Help us find the unknown Aldbury soldier’

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Researchers are trying to trace the histories of the 26 men whose names are on Aldbury’s memorial for First World War soldiers – but one name has left them clueless.

Lots of information has been found about the other 25, but searches of all official records for Edward H. Edwin have drawn a blank.

The information is being compiled to mark the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of the war – which Britain entered on August 4, 1914.

The team of researchers is trying to find out how the conflict affected Aldbury’s small rural community for an exhibition at the village’s St John the Baptist Church.

The display – scheduled for the weekend of September 27-28 – will include details of the families, homes, peacetime jobs and military service of the deceased soldiers named on its war memorial.

It will also include the details of how they died.

Research team leader Graham Juniper said: “Most of them were just ordinary lads from our village and their loss must have been devastating to the small village community.

“Their names are read out every year at the Remembrance Day service.

“I thought it would be appropriate this year to tell their personal stories, and the story of Aldbury during the Great War.

“We have interesting photos of many of the men and of the village at that time as well as letters and other records.”

Mr Juniper is appealing for anyone who has any information about Edward H. Edwin of Aldbury to contact him on 01442 851107 or at g.juniper@btinternet.com

Fellow researcher Chris Dove said: “Who is the man whose name is on the memorial, where did he serve and how did he die? It is a mystery.

“We very much want to know about him and we hope that someone reading this article will be able to help us. We hope to put his story alongside those of his fellows.”

The Great War backgrounds traced by the team so far include those of William Edward Reedman, Arthur John Baldwin and Arnold Walter Jellis.

Mr Reedman was a lieutenant for the 73rd Battalion Canadian Infantry and died of his wounds on Sunday, November 26, 1916, aged 30.

He received multiple shrapnel wounds from shell fire four days before his death, and was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

Aldbury-born Mr Reedman moved to Canada in 1907, and his younger brother Arthur was also killed – he too is on Aldbury’s memorial plaque.

Villager Arthur Baldwin was a rifleman for the 16th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. He was killed in action on Thursday, March 21, 1918, aged 20, and buried in St Souplet British Cemetery, France.

Aldbury-born Arnold Jellis was an acting bombardier for the Battery Royal Field Artillery 72nd Brigade. He was killed in action on Thursday, August 30, 1917, aged 20, and buried in Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium.

 

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