Robert Thomas (Tommy) Edwards was born on 16th August, 1882 in Mold and the youngest of four children to Edward and Ann Edwards.
Tommy’s parents were both born in Ysceifiog and continued to live there until Tommy was born and by 1891 had moved to 5, Halkyn Street, Flint. Mr Edwards was employed as an assistant superintendant for the Prudential Insurance Company. He was born in c1845 and died before 1901. By the 1901 census his widow Ann and children had moved to 52, Halkyn Street in a row known as Foundry Villas.
Also living with them was Tommy’s sister, Maria Ellen, and her husband, Mr Isaac Peers Davies, who was in business as a grocer and provision dealer in Church Street, Flint, and who had employed Tommy as his assistant.
Tommy remained there until he joined the army and he never married.
He enlisted in Flint on 11th April, 1916 and his service record is as follows: Home base until 10th December, 1916; embarked Southampton, 11th December, 1916; disembarked from His Majesty’s Troopship, Kalyan, in Alexandria, on 26th December, 1916; joined battalion for duty In the Field, 31st December, 1916; on enlistment he was 5 ft 4 in, chest 341⁄2 in, weighed 113lb and his physical development was good.
He was killed in action at the Battle of Gaza, Palestine, on 26th March, 1917. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel, on Panels 20 to 22.
He is remembered on the Flint Town war memorial and was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
Tommy was a member of the Welsh Baptist Church, and very well known and much respected by a large number of the people. During his experience at the Front he forwarded exceedingly interesting letters home. He was for several seasons a member of the Flint Liberal Club billiard team and was regarded as one of the brilliant cueists of Flintshire.
Tommy’s mother, Ann, was born in Ysceifiog c.1846 and was still alive in May, 1922, but it is not known what became of her after that date.
In loving birthday remembrance.
Oh blessed hope, beyond the hope That lies beneath the sod,
That gallant lads we love and lose Go home to be with God!
“For greater love hath none,” Christ said, “Than he who for a friend lies dead.”
Mother, Sister and Brother. Halkyn Street, Flint.
(County Herald, 17th August, 1917)
Sweet be your rest, dear brother,
’Tis sweet to breathe your name,
In life we loved you very dear,
In death we do the same.
Sadly missed by all at Foundry Villa, Flint.
(County Herald, 28th March, 1919)
When last we saw his smiling face,
He looked so young and brave,
We little thought how soon he’d be
Laid in a soldier’s grave.
Never forgotten by his loving brother and sister-in-law, John and Ada; also Louie and Eveline. (County Herald, 28th March, 1919)
Dear brother in our hearts you still have a place,
Our home is so lonely without your dear face,
We think of you always and oft breathe your name,
We cannot forget you, love will always remain.
From his loving Brother and Sister-in-law John and Ada, and Nieces.
67, Partington Street, Castleton, Lancs.
(County Herald, 26th March, 1920)