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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Dartmore Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt , Somme Courtesy of Murray Biddle.
Person Details
Woodend, near Worksop, Notts
John William Edwards was the third child of six born to James and Sarah Ann Edwards. He was born in Woodend, near Worksop in 1897. The head of the family, James, worked as a coal miner hewer, at one of the pits local to Woodend. Their family was complete by the birth of their last child in Woodend in 1903, and sometime after that date the family moved to Worksop, living at 104 John Street where James continued his work as a coal miner. In 1909, the wife and mother, Sarah Jane Edwards died at the age of 39. At the age of 14, in 1911, John William was working as a farm boy.
10 Oct 1915
39443 - CWGC Website
1st Bn Cheshire Regiment
Pte. John William Edwards Worksop Guardian 22 October 1915 That the men who have gone from this town and district to fight against the enemy have played a gallant part is obvious from the number of killed and wounded. Worksop’s Roll of Honour is already a long one and it is, alas! being added to. And whilst we think with pride of responses which has been made and of the brave stand our lads have made when called upon to meet the foe, we think with sorrow of those at home who mourn the dead. It is only those who suffer the loss of a beloved one who rightly estimate the sacrifice. News was received on Saturday of the death in action of Pte. John William Edwards, son of Mr James Edward, 16 John Street, Worksop, a respected employee of the Shireoaks Colliery Company. The announcement was contained in the following letter, addressed to Mr Edwards by the Brigade Chaplain:- “ My Dear Sir, I am sorry to tell you the bad news about your son, Pte. J Edwards. He was doing his duty in difficult and dangerous circumstances, and with one or two of his comrades, death overtook them suddenly in a mine. His body was recovered and it was my sad lot to read the Burial Service over him. He has been buried in a quiet spot with others who have laid down their lives for their country. I pray that you and all that were dear to him, may be comforted in this time of sorrow. A cross is being prepared and will be inscribed and put at the head of his grave. May God hear our prayers for you and for the good of the country for which he died. Sincerely yours, Leonard Jeeves (Rev) Chaplain to the *th Brigade, BEF.” Pte Edwards was only 18 years of age, and like his father worked at Shireoaks Colliery. When the call for men came, he several times endeavoured to enlist. At first he was rejected because of his small stature … But he was determined to do his bit, and at last he was accepted for the Sherwood Foresters. This was in January last. Later he was transferred to the 1st Cheshires and subsequently to the Royal Engineers and it was whilst at work with them that he met his death. A young and brave soldier, he has died for his country. He had been in France since the beginning of August. Great sympathy is felt for his father, Mr Edwards, who is unwell, and his sisters and brothers. He was the eldest boy and a lad everybody liked. Only a few days before the receipt of the Chaplain’s letter, he had written expressing the hope that he would be at home for Christmas. Poor lad, it is something to know that he received a Christian burial. ...................................................................................................... John Edwards was serving in the 15th Brigade 5th Division. Having regard to the location of his burial he appears to have been part of a working party working for the Royal Engineers digging mines into what was to become the Somme battlefield. The 5th Division was not engaged in any major action at the time but had suffered badly at Gravenstafel in the Ypres Salient in April. Robert Ilett. 07/04/2015
CWG additional information:- Son of James and Sarah Ann Edwards, of 16, John St., Worksop, Notts. Native of Woodend, Worksop. Formerly 21867, Notts and Derby Regt Commemorated on the Norfolk Cemetery Becordel-Becourt, France. Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Dartmore Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt , Somme Courtesy of Murray Biddle.
    John William Edwards - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Dartmore Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt , Somme Courtesy of Murray Biddle.