Henry Edwards, Private 29062, 16th Battalion Canadian Infantry
Killed in action 22nd April 1915 in Belgium, aged 37
Henry Edwards was born in Wrexham on 11th March 1878 and baptised at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield on 1st May 1878, the son of Mary and Ralph Edwards, a Secretary, of Macclesfield.
In 1881, three year old Henry was living with his parents and younger brothers Frederick H (1) and Charles H (9 months) at 10 Charles Street, Macclesfield. His father Ralph was employed as a Brewery Secretary and Cashier. It was whilst living here during the next ten years that Henry’s youngest brother and sisters Gertrude, Sydney and Florence were born.
Henry entered Macclesfield Grammar school in 1893 and around the same time the family moved to ‘Firgrove’ at 49 Victoria Road, Macclesfield. On leaving school, Henry trained as an electrician and in 1901 he was employed as such, lodging at 20 Richmond Street, Wigan.
Henry emigrated to Canada in 1906.
On 23rd September 1914, at Valcartier in Quebec, Henry volunteered for service overseas with the Canadian forces. On his Canadian service papers he stated that he was born in Wrexham on 11th March 1878, had served for several years with the 1st Royal Warwickshire and the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders, and was a member of the Active Militia in Canada. He was described as 5 feet 8½ inches tall, with a 38½ inch chest, fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He had two vaccination marks on his left upper arm and scars on his right shoulder and right knee.
Henry was posted to Belgium on 7th April 1915, surviving for just two weeks: he was killed in action on the 22nd April. His Canadian Army record states he was killed in the area of Langemarck in the vicinity of St Julien.
Private Henry Edwards has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel ref. 24 – 26 – 28 – 30 on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Henry Edwards, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Private Henry Edwards is remembered on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
In Macclesfield, Private Henry Edwards is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Paul’s Church and King’s School war memorials.
On the Park Green memorial, he is erroneously given the rank of Lance Corporal.