Edwards, Harry

Young Harry Edwards was born circa 1918, the son of Harry & Elizabeth Ann EDWARDS (nee LLOYD), 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 27 and 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 is to the head of the household, but I believe that it was Elizabeth Ann who he was related to.

In the intervening years, Elizabeth Ann Edwards and her young family were to be rocked with tragedy, as I believe that her husband Harry was to die in the March quarter of 1918, age 35 years, and she was pregnant with young Harry, who was born in the September quarter of 1918.

The 1921 census is the first time we see Harry Edwards (Jnr.).    He is living with his widowed mother Elizabeth Ann Edwards and siblings at 34, Dee Road, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.   I believe that his father had died at a very young age in the March quarter of 1918 (Holywell Vol. 11b Page 285), age 35 years.   Elizabeth Ann Edwards is now 37 years and 3 months old, her daughter, Elizabeth Edwards 13 years and 3 months old, Eva Edwards is 10 years and 1 month old, Mary Jane Edwards, 7 years and 10 months old, William James Edwards, 6 years and 6 months old, and Harry Edwards, 2 years and 10 months old.    There is a Boarder living at the house, his name was William E. McKee, 24 years and 9 months old and a Boilermaker, born in Ipswich, Essex, working at J. Crighton & Co., Shipbuilders, Connah’s Quay.

So if I am right about Harry Edwards (Snr.), then poor Elizabeth Ann was left with 4 children and another, Harry, on the way.  I have no information on young Harry’s early life, so any information would be gratefully received, so he will be remembered.

I have found a possible death of an Elizabeth A. Edwards in the September quarter of 1934 (Hollywell  Vol. 11b Page 224), we do know from the newspaper cutting that both Harry’s parent’s were dead by 1943.

I believe that I have found young Harry on the 1939 National Register, taken on the 29th September 1939.   He as living at 358, High Street, Connah’s Quay, his date of birth is given as the 5th September 1918, and he was a Joiner, this will either confirm that this is “our” Harry or not, but we do know he was born in the September quarter of 1918, so it is possible.   He was living with an Elizabeth Jones, who had been born on the 11th of September 1876.   This source also stated that Harry was in the A.R.P., Rescue & Repair, so was already part of our defences.

I believe that Harry had another 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.

I do not know when Harry 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.

In the newspaper report below, on young Harry’’s death, his parents were referred to as the late Mr. & Mrs Harry EDWARDS.   Perhaps the deaths I found may be sadly correct.

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 :-

 History Information

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.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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