Brittain, Edward H (MC)

Edward Harold Brittain (MC), Captain, 11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)
Died 15th June 1918 in Italy, aged 22

 

“Edward Brittain in uniform,” via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed June 5, 2018, http://ww1lit.nsms.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/item/1322

EARLY LIFE

Edward Brittain was born on 30 November and baptised on 27 December 1895 at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Edith Mary and Thomas Arthur Brittain, a paper manufacturer of “Glen Bank”, Chester Road, Macclesfield. The family later moved to “Melrose”, Park Road, Buxton, returned in 1916 to live at “Sunny Bank”, Upton, Macclesfield, and subsequently moved to 10 Oakwood Court, Kensington, London.

More information about Captain Edward Brittain, M.C., will be exhibited at the Macclesfield Reflects: Barnaby 2018 event on 16th and 17th June in Macclesfield Town Hall.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

On 8 July 1916 the Macclesfield Courier reported that Edward Brittain had been wounded:

LIEUT E H BRITTAIN – Mr T A Brittain, of Sunnybank, Upton, has received intimation this week that his only son, Lieutenant Edward Harold Brittain, of the Sherwood Foresters, was wounded at the battle of the Somme on Saturday, and is now in hospital in France. Our readers will probably remember that for many years, up to ten years ago, Mr and Mrs Brittain resided at Glenbank, Chester Road, where their son, Lieutenant Brittain, was born. Some ten years ago they went to reside in Derbyshire, and recently returned to Macclesfield. Lieutenant Brittain received his commission in November, 1915, and he has been on active service since February last.

The death of Captain Brittain was reported in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal on 28 June 1918:

A SHERWOOD OFFICER: Captain Edward Harold Brittain, M.C., Sherwood Foresters, who was killed on June 15th, aged 22, was the only son of Mr and Mrs T A Brittain, of 10 Oakwood Court, Kensington, formerly of Melrose, Buxton. He went to France in February 1916 and was wounded on July 1st of that year, at the Battle of the Somme, on which occasion he was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and leadership. He returned to France on June 30th 1917 and saw considerable fighting in the Passchendaele Offensive. In November of the same year his battalion was sent with the first British Expeditionary Force to another front, where he was killed in a recent important engagement.

 

“Edward Brittain’s grave, Asiago, Italy,” via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed June 5, 2018, http://ww1lit.nsms.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/item/1323

COMMEMORATION

Captain Edward Brittain is buried at Granezza British Cemetery, in grave ref. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 1. His mother paid for the inscription AGED 22 to be added to his headstone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Captain Edward Brittain, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

Locally, Captain Edward Brittain is commemorated on the Buxton (The Slopes) civic war memorial and Holmleigh Preparatory School war memorial (in St John’s Church, Buxton). Captain Brittain’s M.C. was originally omitted from the Buxton war memorial; it is understood that this was not corrected until 1985.

Elsewhere, he is commemorated on the Uppingham School roll of honour, and on the Uppingham School Chapel war memorial.

 

NOTES

Brother of Vera Brittain, who served as a Red Cross VAD in London, Malta and Étaples, France and was the author of Testament of Youth.

 

SOURCES

GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Lives of the First World War website

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Courier: 8 July 1916
Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal: 28 June 1918

 


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