TURNER, Edward Charles (aka MUNNS)

No.G/95397, Private, Edward Charles TURNER
Aged 35
1st Battalion, (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Middlesex Regiment
Died on Wednesday, 23rd October 1918

Edward Charles TURNER was born in Fordham on 12th November 1883 to domestic servant Eliza TURNER. It seems that Walter MUNNS had married Ellen BOON in Newmarket Q4-1884, but she died (Newmarket Q3-1885 3B:291) aged 36, and Walter MUNNS then married Eliza TURNER (Newmarket Q1-1886), thus all the siblings are his half brothers or half sisters.

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at Mann's Yard, Fordham with his step-father Walter [29] farm labourer; his mother Eliza [27] born West Row; sister Sophia [5]; brothers George W [2] and Charles [9 months]. All except his mother were born in Fordham.

1901 census...Aged 17, a bricklayer's labourer, he was at Fyson's yard, Fordham with his parents (step-father a bricklayer's labourer); sister Sophia; brothers George William and Charles, and Frank [9], Albert Arthur [7], Ernest [5] and William John [2] all four born in Fordham

ON 12th April 1909 in Watford, he married Rosina FORD [7-12-1895].

1911 census...He has not been found in this census as MUNNS since he had married Rosina FORD as TURNER and was living with her and their 1st daughter Elsie Rosina [17-5-1910] in Loughton in Essex. At Church Street, Fordham were his parents (step-father now farm labourer), half brothers George William, Francis and Ernest,(all farm labourers), William John, Samuel and Lionel [6] born Fordham, and half sisters Annie Eliza [8] and Charlotte [3] both born in Fordham.

In the 1911 census Charles TURNER [27] a coal porter, was at 5 Beech Terrace, Smart's Lane, Loughton with his wife Rosina and their daughter Elsie Rosina.
Their second daughter Florence Winifred was born on 25th February 1914. This was their address on the pension card.

His half brother Charles served in the Suffolk Regiment from 1908, demobbed in 1919 as Regimental Sgt Major. Half brother Ernest was captured at Le Cateau on 28th August 1914, in 2nd Suffolks #8655 and interned in Döberitz, and was repatriated, arriving Hull via SS "Porto" on 22nd November 1918.
Edward was one of three brothers to die as a result of the Great War.

William John Munns was killed in France in October 1915 see here

and Samuel Munns died of illness in UK in 1919. see here

and cousin Albert Victor Munns died of his wounds in UK in 1917 see here

There were thoughts that he was Private MUNNS L/12198 1st Bn Middlesex Regiment (the Diehards) but that man was Islington born Ernest MUNNS and named his sister Bessie F Robinson as his legatee and this rules him out, that family being all Londoners plus his Army records are on line to categorically rule him out as the Fordham soldier. and not the Fordham family. This however was the only E Munns death on record (as appropriate) between 1914 and 1922 - civilian or CWGC.
Finding a newspaper report of the unveiling, giving the regiments, new research was required to track Edward Charles MUNNS of the 5th Middlesex Regiment which led to the discovery of Edward Charles TURNER in the 1st battalion and everything began to make sense.

Edward Charles TURNER attested on 9th December 1915 (that would be the Derby scheme) and was mobilised at Mill Hill on 11th June 1918. He gave his place of birth as Fordham, residing at Loughton. He was 5 feet 4.5 inches (163.8cm) tall chest 32" to 35" (81.3-88.9 cm). His address was 5 Beech Terrace, Smart's Lane, Loughton and he left a widow and 2 daughters (who got a total pension from 23/6/1919 of 25/5 per week (£1.27). the only item returned to his widow was a letter.

He was posted to the British Expeditionary Force in France on 1st October 1918 and was officially recorded as killed in action or dying of wounds on or very soon after 23rd October A letter to his wife reported that although he was buried on 12th November 1918 at Romeries, his actual individual grave was not known His name was on a memorial stone inscribed "known to be buried in this cemetery".

On 23rd/24th October 1918 the 1st Middlesex were advancing east of Cambrai, roughly the route of the D932 Le Cateau Cambresis to Bavay road, their objective was a line across that road just north of Bousies, which they were within 800 yards of at the end of 23rd, not to far from where Edward is buried.

Edward TURNER in buried in Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension, special memorial A:3

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