Private Edwin Andrews, 13th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Service number 47347.
Edwin was born in Rawtenstall in Lancashire, parents Wright and Ada. Birth was registered at Haslingden in the last quarter of 1898.
By 1901 he was two years old in the census and they were living at 3, Lower Scholes, Oakworth with his parents and his father Wright was a farmer. They were right next door to Lower Scholes Farm.
By 1911 the family had moved to White Hill, Oakworth and Wright was still a farmer with Edwin assisting part time on the farm and part time at school. He now had a sister Emma aged six.
Three years after the outbreak of war, Edwin enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the West Riding Regiment on October 31, 1917, probably in response to a letter. His occupation was 'farmer.'
He wasn't called up straight away, but reported to Halifax on May 27, 1918 where he was medically examined. He gave his age as 19 years and 238 days. He had fair hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. He was above average height for the time at 5 feet 7 inches, with a 35 inch chest and weighing 199 lbs. With a physical development described as 'good,' clearly farming life was healthy. He was mobilized for infantry training that day.
Edwin embarked for France in October 1918 as part of the British Expeditionary Force with the 6th Battalion, West Riding Regiment and on arrival on the 5th October was transferred to the 13th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry and joined his unit in the field two days later. He had only been at the front for three weeks when he was posted missing in action. His body was found later and buried at reference: 57A.G.9.c.1.1. His grave along with several others, was later exhumed and moved to Cross Roads Cemetery, Fontaine Au Bois in April 1920. Edwin's parents had his gravestone inscribed with the words: "Worthy of Everlasting Remembrance."
War Diary entry for the 13th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. October 1918:
In the Line. Ref sheet 57A NW.
28/10/18. Orders were received to establish posts on the track in G.15a. Zero was timed for 1700 hrs. Patrols reported this track held by enemy, so attack postponed until following morning.
29/10/18. Attack started at 0500 hrs by 2 platoons on left flank and 2 platoons on right. They were met with very heavy machine gun fire and rifle fire, the party on left being practically surrounded. They could not advance further, so they withdrew to their original line. 2/Lt Walker was wounded. During the day the Battalion was relieved by 11th Sherwood Forresters and went into support at RUE DE PONT.
We think Edwin was killed in action during this attack.
Edwin was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.
He is remembered locally on the Oakworth War memorial.
Oakworth Cemetery family Headstone:
The inscription reads: Edwin, Killed in Action in France Oct 29th 1918. Aged 20 years.
Birth, marriage and death records.
1901 and 1911 census.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920.
Army service records.
Keighley News archives, Keighley Library.
National Archives war diaries WO95-2247-4
Grave photos by Andy Wade.