18853, Guardsman, Edward Roland WILLSON
Aged 22

3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Died of his Wounds on Wednesday 16th August 1916

Born in Newmarket in Q1-1895[Newmarket 3b:534] to James and Elizabeth M WILLSON (née TANT), Old Toll Gate,Bury Road, Newmarket.

1901 census...Edward [7] was at The Old Toll Gate, Bury Road, Newmarket with his father James [58] a butler, born in Cambridge, his mother Elizabethg M [30], brothers Frederick [11] Ronnie W[10], Albert V [4] and sister Phyliis M [1]. Mother and all children were born in Newmarket.

1911 census...Edward [17], single and a footman was lodging at 7 Merton Road, Kensington with Edmund and Eliza Roberts. Still at Toll Gate were his mother, brother Albert Victor and new brothers, Thomas [7], Frank [5] and Samuel [3] all Newmarket born. Two children had died. His father was working as a waiter for Warren de la Rue at Chippenham.

Brother Albert joined the Northamptonshire Regiment at the very start of the war and survived.

He enlisted in Chesterfield. 4th Grenadiers were part of the 3rd Guards Brigade, Guards Division. Moving from Ypres to the Somme, initially the Division was billeted in the area Bouquemaison-Lucheux-Halloy with Divisional Headquarters at Doullens and found itself for the time being in XIV Corps reserve. On the 8th August 1916 orders were received and on the 9th August the Division began the relief of a brigade of the 6th Division and the whole of the 25th Division and the relief was completed by the 11th August with the three Brigades holding the sector which faced the German positions from west of Beaumont Hamel to a point opposite Serre. Divisional HQ had been transferred to Bertrancourt.
Without his records we cannot ascertain when or where Edward was wounded.

© Roy Beardsworth

Edward is buried in Couin British Cemetery, France- Ref:II.C.8
and also on the Roll of Honour of All Saints School, Newmarket

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