Edwards, Albert Frederick

Dates:

War Service:
Rifleman ALBERT FREDERICK EDWARDS of 12th battalion London Regiment (The Rangers) was killed on 8 May 1915, aged 24 and is buried in Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery

On 2nd May 1915 the Rangers were part of the 28th Division holding the line around Bellewaerde and Frezenburg Ridge, North of the Menin Road. On the night of 2/3rd May they dug and manned a trench line on Frezenburg Ridge and held it for the next four days under heavy shellfire which inflicted many casualties. On the night of 7/8th May they were relieved by the 1st Battalion the Monmouthshire Regiment and retired to dugouts below the ridge at about 4am. At 6.30am intense shellfire heralded the start of an infantry assault which by the end of the day had pushed the Division back three quarters of a mile. A dangerous gap in the line developed in the area held by the Monmouths and at 11.15am the Rangers were ordered forward to reinforce them.

The Official History of the Great War describes the events of that morning :
"At 1115 am General Bols (OC 84th Brigade) sent up the 12/Londons to reinforce the 1/Monmouths over the ridge. After the wastage of 3 weeks in the Salient and the heavy losses of 4 - 7 May the Rangers were barely 200 strong and they began to suffer casualties as they passed through gaps in the line on which the enemy about a mile away had machine guns trained.

Directly they approached the flat crest of Frezenberg ridge they were overwhelmed with shell fire of all kinds. Nevertheless the survivors gallantly struggled forward, some even reaching that part of the line where the 1/Monmouths were still holding on. As a unit, this most determined Territorial battalion, whose survivors held the line they had gained until 6pm, was annihilated. Only 53 men, mostly pioneers and signallers under Sgt W J Hornall, answered the roll call that night."

Location of Memorial:
He is remembered on the memorial in [[[memorial:new-cross-st-catherine-hatcham-ww1-war-memorial|St Catherine’s church]], Hatcham.

Details:

He was the son of Frank and Eliza Edwards of 52, Waller Rd., New Cross.

Source:

Contributed By: Andy Pepper

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