Edward HENERY
Rank: Private
Number: 6969
Unit: 1st Battalion Cameronians (Scottosh Rifles)
Date of Death: 12 March 1915
Age: 38
Cemetery: Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium

Edward was born in Manchester about 1877 and went to school at St Joseph's Catholic School, Reddish. His father was possibly Francis Henery who was head of household of the only family living in Manchester, with that surname, at the time of the 1901 Census. Francis had married his second wife, Elizabeth Roscow (a widow) at Stockport in 1895. In 1901, they were living at 49 Long Millgate, Manchester with her two children from her previous marriage and their son, aged 4, who they had called Francis T Henery.

Assuming this was Edward's family, then he will not have been at home as he was a regular soldier and, at the time, serving in South Africa during the Boer War and, later, in India. When he had served his time in the army, he returned to the local area and, at some point, married Margaret. They would have two children together. Edward found work at Edgeley Station but, when war was declared in August 1914, he was still on the army reserve list and was recalled to the colours. He was not able to rejoin his Battalion immediately as he was a patient in Manchester Infirmary, still recovering from a recent operation. He will, almost certainly have taken part in some of the early battles of the War which would have earned Edward to regard himself as one of the "Old Contemptibles".

Shortly before he was killed, Edward wrote to his old school "I don't care how soon this terrible war is over, so that I can come home to my wife and children, but at the same time, if I have to die, I am not afraid to die for my King and country."

The local newspaper, reporting his death, said he had been killed at the battle of Neuve Chappelle. Whilst this took place between the 10th and 13th of March 1915, the 1st Cameronians were not involved. On 10th March, the Battalion finished a short period in reserve billets and went back into the front line at Bois Grenier. The village is about three kilometres south of the French town of Armentieres. The next day, the Battalion's War Diary records "Enemy trenches bombarded at 9am and opened rapid rifle fire for three minutes and slow for ten. Our casualties - 2 killed". One of these men was Edward (although his official date of death is recorded as the 12th). The next day was quiet with no mention of any casualties.

Edward was almost certainly killed by retaliatory shelling by the German artillery. It is not known if he took a direct hit and was, literally, blown to bits or if he was buried. If it was the latter, then the identification of his grave was lost over the course of the War and he is now commemorated on the nearby Memorial to the Missing. The village churchyard at Bois Grenier contains the burials of 121 British and Dominion soldiers. Eight of them are unidentified. One could be Edward.

Returning to the possible identification of Edward's family, the Stockport Advertiser, in its edition of 29 June 1917, carried a report that a Private F T Henery had been wounded. This man was the son of Mrs Henery, 46 Broadstone Road, Reddish. He had been wounded on 15 June, whilst serving with the Manchester Regiment, by a rifle grenade and was a patient at Howard Gardens Hospital, Cardiff. This man, who may have been Edward's half-brother, had worked as an electrician at Halliwell Ltd, Thomas Street, Manchester.

By the time the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, in the early 1920s, Edward's wife had also died.

   
           
   
     
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