Rank:


2nd Lieutenant

Service No(s):


761782

Regiment:


London; North Lancashire

Unit:

16th (Queen's Westminster Rifles); 28th (Artists Rifles); 15th Officer Cadet Battalion

Returned:

Yes

Place of birth:

Stroud Green

Occupation:

Bank clerk

Date of death:

Cause of death:

Grave or panel reference:

Name of father:

George Edwards

Name of siblings:

Victor George; Leslie; Margery

Name(s) of children:

Died:

No

Date of birth:

11/10/1891

Place of enlistment:

Event:

France; Home

Age at death:

Cemetery or memorial:

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Ellen Kate, nee Young

Name of spouse:

Edith Gladys, nee Fairfield

Address:

1911 Census-129 Stapleton Hall Road

Biography:

Cecil Edwards was one of no fewer than eight Edwards cousins, who served in the war, five of whom are commemorated on the church plaques.

Cecil, the son of George Edwards and his wife Ellen Kate, and brother of Leslie and Victor, was a bank clerk in 1914. He enlisted on the very first day of the war as a Private in 16th Battalion of the London Regiment, the Queen’s Westminster Rifles; the same battalion which his cousins Oscar and Herbert joined in September. After six months, however, Cecil transferred first to the 2/28th Battalion and then 1/28th. The 28th Battalion was the famous Artists Rifles, established in 1859 by artists including Lord Leighton and Holman Hunt, and in the First World War attracting not only artists but also architects, music hall performers and medical students as well as City clerks and others who joined for the well-known social life.

Cecil was promoted to Lance Corporal on 10 July 1916, and then Corporal on 26 April 1917, Acting Sergeant on 30 October 1917 and Sergeant on 3 November 1917. He served with 1/28th until June 1918: in France in 1916-17, and at home after that. On 3 June 1918 he was posted back to 2/28th and in July attached to 15 Officer Cadet Battalion at Hare Hall Camp near Romford in Essex. There he would have met another man from New Court Congregational Church listed on the plaque to those who returned: Private Harry Creighton was also a member of the Artists Rifles and spent his whole war training officer cadets at Hare Hall.

Some time in 1918 Cecil was wounded, severely enough to earn him the Wound Stripe and in 1919 a disability pension of 9s 9d per week on account of a 30% disablement. In March 1919 Cecil left the Artists Rifles on a commission to the North Lancashire Regiment as a Reservist, where his brother Leslie was already an officer on attachment from the Middlesex Regiment.

Cecil married Edith Fairfield in March 1918 at Holy Trinity Church, Stroud Green, close by both their family homes in Stapleton Hall Road; her father a Captain in the Merchant Service. After the war the couple lived in Hornsey and Upper Holloway. Cecil became a freemason, initiated into the East Anglian Lodge in March 1920 together with his brothers Leslie and Victor, at which time he worked as a travelling salesman.

Leslie Edwards also served in the Army and is commemorated on the church plaque like Cecil. Their older brother Victor George Edwards served in the Royal Navy from October 1918 to January 1919 at HMS President V, the Royal Navy Experimental Station at Stratford in east London.