Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Edward Williams

Edward Williams :

Edward Williams : (L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal

(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal

We don't know anything about Edward's early life or family.

When the First World War broke out in August 1914 Edward felt enough of a connection to Manchester to want to join the 2nd City Battalion. He enlisted on the 3rd September. The City Battalions were formed to allow men from the Manchester area to serve together.

The 2nd City Battalion became the 17th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and Edward was assigned to XIII Platoon in D Company. He was given the service number 8989.

The 17th Battalion trained at Heaton Park in Manchester until April 1915, when they moved to Belton Park near Grantham in Lincolnshire. That September they moved to Larkhill in Wiltshire, and on the 8th November 1915 Edward sailed to France.

The battalion was based in the Couin area during 1915 then moved to Maricourt and Bray in the first half of 1916. During June the 17th Battalion began training to take part in the Somme Offensive, and Edward is likely to have taken part in the attack on Montauban on the 1st July that began this battle.

By the 3rd over 350 of the 900 soldiers who had begun the attack were dead, wounded or missing. The battalion fought again at Trones Wood on the 10th and Guillemont on the 30th.

We don't know what happened to Edward. He was transferred to an unknown unit of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in early September. They gave him the service number 27073.

Edward must have been wounded soon after this. By the 4th December 1916 the Army had decided that his wounds were so serious that he would never be fit enough to return to duty, so he was discharged as 'no longer physically for war service'. He was awarded a Silver War Badge, with serial number 79740, to show that his discharge was honourable.

The rest of Edward's life remains a mystery.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council