Young Harry Edwards was born circa 1918, the son of Harry & Elizabeth Ann EDWARDS (nee DODD), who were married on the 21st August 1907 at St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden.
According to the Hawarden National (Boys) School Admissions Register, young Harry Edwards’s father Harry EDWARDS, was admitted there on the 11th January 1893, sadly it gives no date of birth, but tells us that his father was William EDWARDS and his former school was at Shotton and he resided in Queensferry.
His mother Elizabeth Ann LLOYD also has a record of her entry into school at Custom House Lane Board (Infants) School, Connah’s Quay. It tells us that her admission number was 164, date of admission – 23rd May 1887, date of birth was 3rd May 1884 and her father was James LLOYD and they lived in Connah’s Quay
On the 1911 census young Harry’s parents were living at Acacia Villas, Chester Road, Shotton, Flintshire (6 rooms). Harry Edwards, 28 and an Engine Fitter in the Galvanizing Works (Probably John Summers & Sons) had been born in Hawarden, his wife Elizabeth was 27and been born in Northop, Flintshire. They tell us that they had been married for 3 years and that 1 child had been born in Hawarden, a daughter, Elizabeth, who was age 3 on this census. Also in the household was an Uncle, John DODD, age 52, Single and a Plumber’s Labourer (Galvanize Iron Works) born in Northop, Flintshire. The relationship on censuses are to the head of the household, but I believe that it was Elizabeth Ann who he was related to.
I have no information on young Harry’s early life, so any information would be gratefully received, so he will be remembered. Likewise I do not know when he enlisted, but I have found Casualty Lists for Harry, one, (Page 6), states that he was wounded on the 16th September 1943 and then a written note that he had “Died of Wounds, the other on Page 7 just stated that he had been wounded on the 16th and then he had “Died of Wounds” on the 17th September 1943.
The Commonwealth War Graves Concentration Graves Report Form tells us that Harry was buried at location 727260 when he died and then, along with 10 others, re-buried at location 780253 (Salerno Military Cemetery) on the 4th January 1944 where he now rests.
I do not know what company of the Royal Engineers that Thomas Harry WIMBUSH was in, he is remembered on the Hawarden War Memorial for WW2, but his Regimental No. is 1898452, whereas Harry Edwards is 1890711, and they both died in September 1943, Thomas on the 29th and buried in Port Said, Egypt and Harry died on the 17th September and buried in SALERNO WAR CEMETERY, so it may be an ask to think that they may have known each other or at least enlisted at the same time.
WIMBUSH, THOMAS HENRY
Service Number 1898452
I believe that Harry had a brother, William J. Edwards, as on the 1939 Register, taken on the 29th September 1939, he is seen living with Harry’s sister Elizabeth and her husband Charles Collier, a Master Builder at “Glenroy,” Golftyn Lane , Connah’s Quay. William J. Edwards was born on the 28th January 1915 and he worked then at the Steel Works as a Clerk. Elizabeth and Charles, I believe had a son Roy Collier, born on the 11th June 1933, also seen on the Register. Elizabeth & Charles had married at St John’s Methodist Church, Connah’s Quay in the September Quarter of 1929.
In the newspaper report below, on young Harry’’s death, his parents were referred to as the late Mr. & Mrs Harry EDWARDS, but I do not know when they died.
Cannot find Harry (Snr.) and Elizabeth Ann EDWARDS, Harry’s parents on the 1939 Register. Perhaps they died before the war. (See Newspaper report.)
Chester Chronicle 30th October 1943Page 7 Col. 4
DIED IN ACTION – News has been received by his sister Mrs. C. Collier, Glenroy, Golftyn Lane, that Sapper Harry EDWARDS (aged 25) had been killed in action. The official notification followed letter from his officer and sergeant which had explained that Sapper EDWARDS had died of wounds. He was the son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Harry EDWARDS of Dee-road, Connah’s Qauy. Before the war he worked at an aerodrome and after joining the Army went with the invasion force to Italy. His brother is in the R.A.F. (Author’s note – Was this William J.?)
Taken from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for Harry – re Salerno :-
On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for the following year. Commonwealth and American forces landed near Salerno on 8-9 September 1943 and there was fierce fighting for some days in the bridgehead that they established.
Any help to add more to Harry’s story would be gratefully received.