As there was no age or why he died on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, I needed a clue to help tell his story. I phoned the Cemeteries Dept., to find out who was buried with George Henry, also details such as his age when he died and where he died, they told me that he had died in St. Claire’s (Clare’s)Hospital*, Rotherhithe, age 19 years, also buried with him is his parents and sister Joyce. This confirmed his parents below.
*May also be St. Olave’s Hospital, Rotherhithe. Click on the link https://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/stolaves.html
George Henry Edwards was born circa 1921, I believe, the son of Samuel & Annie Edwards (nee Lovatt). They married on the 26th April 1920 at St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden, Sam was 23, a bachelor and Ironworker, his father also named Sam. Annie Lovatt, 19 and a spinster, her father being Samuel Lovatt, Both Bride and Groom lived in the Nine Houses, Shotton.
I have the Casualty (Home & Stations Abroad) lists of the 176 Bty., 63 H.A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery and he is listed as having died of wounds in the UK. I also have his Form RH – which is Deaths 1939-46 (Entry Form). This form gives his number, Regt., and also his place of birth and residence, but they are just Chester and Connah’s Quay respectively. This form also tells us that his death occurred in the UK. George Henry’s Theatre of War was the United Kingdom.
I also have the Enlistment book for the Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942, but this doesn’t show a date of his enlistment, but it tells us that he died on the 17th October 1940.
The 1921 census was taken on the 19th June 1921 and hasn’t been released, (indeed we do not know if George Henry would have been on it, as we don’t know his date of birth, except he was born in the 2nd Quarter of 1921 (Hawarden -Flintshire (Mold)HAW/27A/87) so we do not know if that would help us tell his story. Any help in that direction would be very gratefully received.
The 1939 Register shows that his parents were living at 37 Bryn Road , Connah’s Quay U.D., Flintshire, Wales, George Henry‘s Royal Artillery Attestation of 1938 tells us that he was already in the Army and as War was declared on the 3rd September 1939 and the Register was taken on the 29th September 1939, he was probably in the Tyneside and Durham areas then. However his sister Joyce, who had been born in 1929 and was at school was also in the household as was 2 redacted records, meaning there were other people there but their records were closed.
I wanted to know how George Henry had died, so I asked the WW2 Talk Forum for help and they were able to tell me a little bit more about his Regiment – Many thanks to them:-
TD told me that a chap from same Regiment died on 7/10/40 – Harold Hobson (1506131)
Royal Artillery – 176 Bty., 63 H.A.A. Regiment
7 October 1940, aged 22
Died in Wales
He died of Accident at A.A. Practice Camp on 7 October 1940 in World War Two and I think is buried in Swinton (St. Margaret) Churchyard.
Did George die in the same sort of circumstances? I have tried to find his death Certificate, but up to now, no luck.
Kyle from the Forum also told me:-
63rd and 64th (Northumbrian) HAA Rgts were defending my home area of Durham and Tyneside they were redesignated HAA in 1940 to distinguish them from the LAA units that were formed on Anti Aircraft duties. The Hq was at Sunderland whilst 176 Bty were at Durham (County) .
I have written to find out about the Rotherhithe Hospital to :- LHLibrary@southwark.gov.uk and also, https://www.southwark.gov.uk/libraries/local-history-library-and-archive/visiting-the-local-history-library-and-archive – but have had no luck so far.
If anyone can shed any light on young George Henry’s life, please get in touch with the website, any information would be gratefully received.