Biddulph & District Genealogy & Historical Society Biddulph Grange

Biddulph and the Great War

'There Shall Be In That Rich Earth A Richer Dust Concealed'

'We Will Remember Them'

Private Leonard Edwards

18307 2nd Bn. East Yorkshire Regiment died on October 4th 1915 Age 21

Leonard was the son of William Edwards and Sarah Frances (nee Stoddard) who had married in Biddulph in February 1891. Leonard was born in 1894 and appears to have been the couple’s second son. His father, William, originated from the West Midlands presumably coming to Biddulph to work in the iron industry. He was employed in 1901 as a Blacksmith Striker and Leonard was to follow his father into the iron industry, giving his occupation as ironworker, when he enlisted on August 31st 1914.

The family was large. His mother, on the 1911 census recorded that she had given birth to ten children with only one child having died. The family lived at 62, Railway Cottages, Black Bull in 1911 and by the start of the war, had moved to 10, Newpool Terrace.

Only weeks after the beginning of the First World War, at the age of 20 years, Leonard joined the army at Biddulph. Enlisting into the North Staffordshire Regiment, he was now 9495 Private Edwards. Just a short while after, he was transferred to the 2nd battalion East Yorkshire Regiment and became 18307 and continued his training at Winchester.

This battalion as part of 28th Division went to the Western Front in January 1915, concentrated at Hazebrouck. In April and May the division bravely fought in the 2nd Battle of Ypres. By late summer the troops moved south, arriving on September 27th for the opening of the Battle of Loos. Going straight into battle the men fought at the Redoubt and Fosse Alley. Only a few days into this battle on October 4th 1915 sadly Leonard was to fall on the battlefield of Loos.

Having no known grave he is remembered on the Loos Memorial and at home on all of the Biddulph memorials and also the Brown Lees memorial.

Mike Turnock

A list of all the medals awarded to the men of the Biddulph area has been compiled and can be viewed here.


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