Service number: 12437 | Rank: Private | Regiment: Norfolk Regiment
Killed in action, October 2, 1915, in Flanders.
Remembered at LOOS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France.
WHAT I KNOW ABOUT BERTIE …
Bertie was the second son of Henry and Susan Edwards, who during the war lived at 86 London Road. At the start of the war he enlisted as part of ‘Kitchener’s Army’ and went on to serve with other Brandon lads in the 7th Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment. The battalion landed in France in May 1915 and it was not long before they made preparations for battle. Bertie would be one of the unlucky ones and aged only 19 he was killed in action five months later. It goes without saying that the sudden loss of a young family member is devastating for a family, but when news of Bertie’s death came to Bertie’s parents they were still grieving the loss of their only daughter who had died just a few months previously.
Bertie’s older brother, Herbert, was in the same battalion as Bertie on the day Bertie died and Herbert wrote home to their parents to tell them the news before the War Office sent their official telegram.
“Bert was killed in action last night by a piece of shell. We have been shifted to a very hot part of the line, and the shelling is rather thick. Dear Bert stuck it very bravely, and was, I was told very patient with his injuries.”
The 7th Battalion war diary stated that the men had moved into trenches along the Front at Loos. During the night of the 1st October they were working very hard to improve these whilst under a violent enemy bombardment. An order was given that no fires or movement was allowed along the trench due to the danger of exposing their position. The bombardment continued into the next day and became increasingly violent. It was probably at this time that Bertie was killed. Over the next ten days four other Brandon men serving in that same battalion would be killed, although it is more difficult to record how many more were injured due to the battalion seeing action at this time.