Royal Field Artillery
Place of birth:
Finsbury Park, London
Coach and Motor Trimmer & Gun Filer and Assembler
Date of death:
Cause of death:
Grave or panel reference:
Name of father:
Name of siblings:
Winthorpe Mark, Rosamond M, Annie Marion, Clissold George, Reginald.
Name(s) of children:
Date of birth:
Place of enlistment:
Age at death:
Cemetery or memorial:
St Mellitus Church
Name of mother:
Name of spouse:
Edith Mary (maiden name =King)
39 Almington Street, Thorpdale Road, Finsbury Park N (1901 Census)
Edgar Gilbert Larkinson was born on 5th October 1893 in Finsbury Park, London. He was one of six children born to Frederick George Larkinson and Laura Kersaw. Edgar was the third oldest child in the Larkinson family. They lived at 39 Almington Street, Thorpdale Road, Finsbury Park, London.
Edgar’s name was recorded in the 1901 census but was not in the 1911 census. His absence is explained in records showing he was 18 years old when admitted to hospital on 1st April in 1911 in Islington, and discharged on 18th April 1911.
Edgar Gilbert Larkinson served in Royal Field Artillery in France. His rank was Saddler Corporal. The Royal Field Artillery was responsible for the medium calibre guns and ‘howtizers’ deployed close to the front line. Saddler was a specialist trade of a soldier, and the rank would reflect the soldier’s experience. The 1939 register records Edgar’s occupation as a coach and motor trimmer. His father and brother, Winthorpe, were also coach trimmers. The job of a coach trimmer was to paint and complete the upholstery of a coach, a form of transport in the 1900s. In 1900, almost every vehicle on the streets of Britain was horse drawn.
As a corporal, Edgar would have been in charge of a section. Saddlers made/repaired saddles and leather tack for the horses in a gun battery. They worked closely with the drivers to maintain all the tack and saddlery in the wagon lines while guns were in action. The batteries were frequently in action for weeks, even months at a time, so the tack on the horses particularly degraded fairly quickly.
During WW1, Edgar married Edith Mary King in 1917 in Edmonton. Soldiers were allowed a leave every fifteen months on average. Initially, soldiers were not allowed leave until 1915 as officers believed the war would be finished by the end of 1914. Periods of leave known as ‘permissionnaires’ played a role in boosting wartime morale. Edgar was awarded the 1914-1915 Star medal, the Victory medal and the British War Medal for his service in WW1.
Throughout the 1920s, Edgar and his wife mainly lived in Wood Green. By 1939, Edgar and Edith resided in Chesnunt, Hertfordshire. They lived with Edgar’s parents, his younger brother Clissold and his wife, Doris. Clissold worked in electrics and is also listed as an Air Raid Warden. As well as being a Coach and Motor Trimmer, Edgar’s occupation is also listed as a Gun Filer and Assembler for RSAF. A Gun Filer was a weapon maker. They filed the metal barrels of rifles and pistols to remove imperfections. The Royal Smalls Arms Factory was a UK government owned rifle factory in the London Borough of Enfield. The factory produced rifles, muskets and swords from 1816, closing in 1988.
Edgar’s father, Frederick, died in Hertfordshire in 1950 at the age of 85 years old. Edgar died at the age of 75 years old on 14th February 1968.