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Person Details
Sutton in Ashfield
Edwin Pepper was born in 1893 , the son of Elijah a tailor and his first wife the late Elizabeth Hannah Pepper née Lee of 6 Deepdale Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield. Elijah was born in 1848 at Gotham, Nottinghamshire, Elizabeth Hannah Lee was born in 1852 at Sutton in Ashfield she died in 1908 aged 56 yrs, they had 8 children. Elijah later re married in 1909 Ada Elizabeth Gregory their marriage was recorded in the Mansfield registration district, Ada brought two children to the marriage, James William Gregory b1900 and Eliza Gregory b1904. In 1911 the family is living at 109 Mansfield Road, Sutton in Ashfield , Elijah is 63 yrs and a tailor he is living with his second wife Ada Elizabeth 33 yrs and their children, Edwin is 26 yrs and is a school teacher.
School Teacher, had been educated at Queen Elizabeth school from 18/09/1906 to July 1908. He then went onto Reading University.
21 Sep 1918
177711 - CWGC Website
Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Private Edwin Pepper, enlisted at Grays, whilst residing at Purfleet he initially served with the service number 536871 in the London Regiment. He later served with the 74th battalion Machine Gun Corps, he was killed in action on 21st September 1918. He is buried in Unicorn Cemetery, Vendhuile.
His brother, Harold also served but he survived the war. Article published in the Nottingham Free Press dated 25th October 1919 :- “PRIVATE EDWIN PEPPER, SUTTON. “Official news was received on Wednesday of last week of the death in action of Private Edwin Pepper, youngest son of Councillor E. Pepper, 109, Mansfield-road, Sutton. The first intimation of his death was received from a friend and neighbour in civil life, and the sad event was soon confirmed by an officer and chaplain. The family had hoped for the possibility of a mistake in the first news, but the communication from the War Office that Private Pepper was killed on the 21st of September, had to be reluctantly accepted. “Deceased, who was just 27 years of age, was in the scholastic profession and received his early training under Mr. W. Morris at the Mansfield-road Boys' School. Subsequently, he attended the Mansfield Grammar School. For short periods Private Pepper taught at the Higher Standard and Hardwick-street Schools, Sutton. Deceased then entered Reading University as a student. Following his training, he took appointments at Bristol, Ramsgae, and on H.M.S. Training Ship “Cornwall,” situate on the Thames. Deceased was very popular with the boys here, and it was during his stay that a most regrettable accident occurred. A number of boys and officials were out boating, and were run down by a steamer. When Private Pepper announced the roll call, no less than 17 boys and the mater failed to answer. “After a stay of two years on the “Cornwall,” deceased voluntarily enlisted in the Civil Service Rifles stationed at Winchester. Later on, he transferred to the M.G.C., and was sent to Grantham. He was drafted to Palestine in November, 1917, being removed to France in May, 1918. “Private Pepper always wrote cheery letters home, and frequently mentioned the Zion Baptist Church, where he received his religious impressions. He should have been on leave when news was received of his death. Deceased was passionately fond of music, and was the possessor of a good bass voice. He was well known over a wide area, and his death came as a great shock to the family – to whom much sympathy has been extended – and a large circle of friends, who regret that a promising career has been prematurely cut short. “The following letters have been received by Mr. Pepper: – “By now I feel certain you will have received the sad news about the death of your son. He was in my Section, and had been for some time ever since he joined the Company. On the 21st September my Section was ordered forward with the infantry, and all went well until we came under heavy machine gun fire. I stopped and we all got into shell holes and started digging in. It was at this time several enemy machine guns were turned on us, and I regret to say your son was hit in the head. We could do nothing for him, as he soon passed away. I thought you might like to know the exact circumstances. Your son was a general favourite in the Company, and his loss is keenly felt. If there is anything you would like to ask me, please do not hesitate to write. I can only express to you my sincere sympathy in your sad loss. – Lieut. G. A. Sheridan Shedden.” “I am venturing to write you just a few lines of sincere sympathy in the loss of your dear son. I got to know him pretty well through the following circumstances. One Sunday morning, some weeks ago, I had announced a voluntary service. Troops gad been on the move and it was not possible to secure a parade service, so I just put up a few bills here and there to invite any who might be looking for a service. As it happened, however, only one turned up, and that one was your son. It was a fine morning and I had announced the service to be in the open air, under the trees in an orchard. I had not met your son before, but I told him I appreciated his having come to the service. He replied that although he was classified as a member of the _____ he was always glad of a service anywhere. (I am a Wesleyan Chaplain.) So we just sat in a shell hole and talked. He told me a great deal of his civilian life and work, and I could not help feeling what a hugely important sphere he had left to join the army. I was greatly pained on visiting his unit recently to find he had fallen. I was very much impressed by his fine spirit and manly bearing. He was a man we could not spare. Still we believe he has greater work still to do, and already has entered into a fuller life. I pray that God's good spirit may support you in all this time of great trial. With best wishes and regards. – J. H. Parsons, C.F.” “Mr. Pepper's nephew, who was born in India and reared in the army, and now holds a position in the War Office, has also sent a sympathetic letter. Extract: – You have the consolation of knowing that your son has died the most glorious death it is possible for a man to die..... We will make the Huns pay for it.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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