Speakman, Edwin

Edwin Speakman was born in 1897 in Lyneal Shropshire. He was the son of Joseph and Maria Speakman.

He was recorded on the census of 1901 living with his family at Etchleys Ellesmere, Shropshire. Head of the household was Joseph Speakman aged 38 an ‘ordinary Agricultural Labourer’ who had been born in Oswestry. His wife Maria was 36. She came from Willington in Flintshire originally. Their listed children were Joseph 9, Mary 7, John 6, Edwin 4 and Eleanor 1.

Tragedy struck this family twice in 1905. In January the eldest son Joseph was drowned in the terrible ice accident in Bettisfield. He was one of the five children to die that day. The story is told on a separate page on this website. Follow the link. In the same quarter of 1905, husband and father Joseph Speakman  also died. (1905 Qtr March, District Ellesmere, Vol 6a, Page 529)

The Bettisfield school Log Book records that on the 10th October 1910, Edwin Speakman left school because he was ‘of age’. (He was 13/ 14)

The 1911 census records the family in Northwood, Wem, Salop. The head of the household was widowed Maria Speakman who was 46 and a charwoman. The children listed in the household were Mary 17, a Housemaid, John 16 was a domestic Gardener, Eleanor 11 and William 6 were at school. Edwin was not there.

In fact in 1911 Edwin was a resident servant at the large household  of Gordon Thomas Groom, a Baker and Miller at Bronington Nr Whitchurch. Edwin Speakman was listed as a 14 year old Van Boy. Another member of the household was William Thomas Ankers  who was  also a van boy. William too lost his life in the war and is named on the Bettisfield memorial.

UK Soldiers who Died in The Great war 1914 -19 accessible on confirms the regimental details as at the top of this page. It tells us that Edwin was residing in London and enlisted in Chelsea. This source says he ‘died at home’. (Home meaning the UK as opposed to abroad). His medal index card also on Ancestry lists his two medals which tells us that he served abroad.

The Register of Effects in which the army calculated the moneys owed to deceased soldiers, names Edwin Speakman and it is this source that says he died in Albert Hall Hospital Nottingham.It also says he had a previous regimental number 3694. The sum of £8..14..11d was paid to Edwin’s sole legatee,  his Mother Maria.

Edwin Speakman was buried in the churchyard at Bettisfield.

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