No. 14268, Private, Edwin James RAYNER
Aged 21

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Monday, 22nd May 1916

Edwin James Rayner was born in Freckenham (Mildenhall Q1-1895 4A:834), the son of Samuel W and Sarah Ann RAYNER (née PLUMMER).

1901 census... Aged 6, he was at Elms Road, Freckenham with his father Samuel [39] horse keeper on farm, his mother Sarah Ann [39]; sisters Laura [11]; Bertha [10] and Angelina [9], brother Ernest [7] and sisters Emily [3] and Gertie [2]. The whole family were born in Freckenham.

1911 census... Aged 16, an agricultural labourer, he was at Rectory Farm, Freckenham with his parents, brother Ernest (stable groom), sisters Emily and Gertie and new brothers, Arthur William [9] and Frederick Walter [6], both born in Freckenham. All nine children had survived.

His father died in 1912 and sister Gertie was killed in the bombing raid on Newmarket High Street on 18th February 1941 see here-Newmarket or see here - Mildenhall memorial

He enlisted in Newmarket. Dying from his wounds it is almost impossible without his Army records to say where or when he was wounded. The 11th Suffolk were in reserve in May 1916, in the Fricourt Ridge - La Boiselle region, near Albert. Edwin and two other lads, from Cambridgeshire, were the only deaths that day in their battalion but the other two appear to have been in the line. Edwin's cemetery was used by field ambulances and suggests he was wounded not long before the 22nd.

Edwin rests beside Rubby Langley from Soham

photo-Rodney Gibson

Edwin Rayner is buried in Mericourt l'Abbe Communal Cemetery Extension, grave 1:C:17

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