CARDELL, Edmund Powne [MC]

Major, Edmund Powne CARDELL MC
Aged 25

Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action on Thursday, 21st March 1918

Edmund Powne CARDELL was born 4th May, 1892 in South Petherwin, Cornwall,(Launceston Q2-1892 5C:26) youngest son of Edmund Harvey and Elizabeth CARDELL (née NICKELL).

He was admitted to Great Paxton School on 14th September 1896, transferring to the East Anglian School on February 27th 1903.

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at Manor Farm, Great Paxton, Huntingdon with his father Edmund H. CARDELL [51] farmer born South Petherwin, Cornwall; his mother Elizabeth [41] born Helland, Cornwall; sister Alice N.[17] and brother Harold S. [10]. All the children were born in South Petherwin.

1911 census...Aged 18, an engineering student, he was visiting George (retired butcher) and Rebecca ATKIN at 53 Albert Grove, Nottingham

from the school archives

Enlisted in General Service Cavalry on 17th September 1914, No.26602. He was living at 33 Grove Road, Brighton Road, London, 5 feet 10 inches (177.8cm) tall, weighing 129 lbs (58.7 kg), chest 32" to 36" (81.3 to 91.4 cm) with blue eyes, dark hair, a Wesleyan. Discharged to a commission in Royal Field Artillery on 7th October 1915. He had been a member of the University College Nottingham O.T.C. and gained B.Sc (engineering) London. An engineer by profession. His next of kin noted as parents and brother Frank Lawry CARDELL, all at Manor, St Neots.
He was three times Mentioned in Despatches, on 15th June 1916, 4th January 1917 and on 11th December 1917. Military Cross gazetted 12th March 1918

Du Ruvigny's Roll of honour has:-
Major, 14th Light Division, Royal Field Artillery, ygst .s.of Edmund Harvey Cardell, of Great Paxton, St. Neots co.Huntingdon, Farmer, by his wife Elizabeth, dau. of F.P.Nickell; b. Launceston, co.Cornwall, 4 May, 1892; educ East Anglian School, Bury St.Edmunds and Nottingham University; he took a degree of B.Sc.of the London University (Engineering), and was on the staff of the British Reinforced Concrete Company; gazetted 2nd Lieut. R.F.A. in Sept.1914; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from May 1915, and was killed in action near Passchendaele 21 March 1918. His Colonel wrote: "He was as brave as a lion, and his character was most exemplary. There was not an officer or man in the battery who did not love him". He was three time mentioned in despatches [London Gazettes 15 June, 1916, 4 Jan. and 14 De. 1917 by F.M. Sir Douglas Haig, and was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and distinguished conduct in the field; unm

There is some confusion here since Du Ruvingy has him in the Ypres Salient, and he is commemorated on the Somme. Dates of death are all either 21st or 25th March 1918 with most Army records showing 21st,( the first day of the German Spring Offensive, the Kaiserschlacht). The war diary definitely locates him at Essigny-St Quentin on 21st March, some distance from Ypres.

13th March - Vicinity of Bty positions shelled during the forenoon. "A" Bty had one man killed and one other wounded. Major E.P.CARDELL awarded the M.C.....
21st March - Terrific artillery and Trench Mortar fire opened by the enemy at 4:40 am followed by enemy attack in very thick fog.
Bde lost 18 -18 pndrs at 6.45 hours. Twelve officers and one hundred and fifty other ranks reported missing. Of the twelve officers, Major E.P.CARDELL M.C. and 2nd Lieut.Robertson were known to have been killed. Our HQ were evacuated at 12:30 pm. 169 Bde who were in rear of battle zone as reinforcing Bde covered our zone.
Remainder of Bde marched to Haut de Bois after supplying 169 and 298 Bdes with ammunition. Major Miller to command ? 46.

The oak leaf on the Victory Medal ribbon on his medal bar signifies his Mention in Despatches, only one emblem regardless of the number of mentions. This was changed in 2014 for all mentions since 1962, after which multiple emblems can be worn with the medal.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Edmund Cardell is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, panels 7 to 10
also commemorated on the Great Paxton war memorial
and the Roll of Honour of University College Nottingham Officer Training Corps

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details