No.326234, Private, Harry EDWARDS
Aged 36

1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
formerly No.3440, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Killed in Action on Monday 25th March 1918

Harry Edwards was born in Soham (Newmarket Q2-1881 3B:576), son of Robert and Martha Ann EDWARDS (née MOTT).

1891 census...Aged 9, he was at Brook Street, Soham with his father Robert EDWARDS [49] farm labourer; his mother Martha Ann [39]; brothers Robert [18] (Corporal 4th Suffolk Regiment), Herbert [7], Walter [4] and Arthur [2]; sister Ellen [12]. All were born in Soham.

1901 census...he has not been found in this census, possibly he was in the Army. His parents were still at Brook Street with his brothers Herbert (farm labourer), Walter (errand boy) and Arthur (newspaper boy).

1911 census...Aged 29, farm labourer, he was back home in Brook Street with his parents and brother Arthur, farm labourer. Three of his mother's 10 children had died

His younger brother Walter died of his wounds in France in 1916. see here

He enlisted in Cambridge. His earlier Cambridgeshire number would have been issued in March 1915.

The German Spring Offensive began on the 21st March 1918 and the Germans swept forward, overcoming our forces almost everywhere. The Cambridgeshires were east of Albert somewhere around Longavesnes.
At 9.00 a.m. on the 23rd a verbal order was given for "a rearguard action to be fought by the Sherwoods and Cambridgeshires to cover the withdrawal of the Division." Later in the day the 1st Battalion marched to St Denis and after a short break, continued its withdrawal towards St. Quentin.
At 12 noon on the 25th March the Battalion received notice that the enemy had crossed the canal at La Chapelette and taken La Maisonette Ridge. The Battalion engaged the enemy at 9.00 p.m. that night in BIACHES, but after an hour they were ordered to withdraw to HERBECOURT and by 4.30 a.m. on the 26th had taken up a line close to the village.

The 1st/1st Cambridgeshires had 7 men killed on the 25th, none of them have an identified grave.

Local press report:-
Pte. Harry Edwards, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Edwards, of Brook Street, was killed in France on March 25. Deceased, who was 35 years of age, has been in the Army for three years, and was home on leave four months back. His brother, Pte.Walter Edwards, Suffolk Regt.,died from wounds received in action on March,10th, 1916.

photo:Roy Beardsworth

Harry Edwards is commemorated on the Pozières, France, panels 84-85

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