Edward Albert HOLLIDAY
Rank: Private
Number: 94357
Unit: 4th Battalion King’s (Liverpool) Regiment
Date of Death: 18 April 1918
Age: 19
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Edward, senior, was a commercial traveller for a mantle maker. In 1901, he and his wife, Hannah, were living in Woodsmoor, Stockport with their six children - Percival (then 13), John (11), Walter (9), Hilda (7), Phyllis (5) and Edward (2). Nothing else is known of Edward's family life (except that, after the War, Mr & Mrs Holliday were living at "Enville", Dialstone Lane, Stockport).

Edward will have been conscripted into the army when he became 18 and was assigned to the Border Regiment (service number 35452). This information does not appear on his on-line medal entitlement records at the National Archives. This confirms that he never served abroad with the Borders and was, no doubt, transferred to the King's Regiment when he finished training.

The Battalion's War Diary holds scant information for the 17th and 18th April 1918 and it has not been possible to even establish exactly where it was fighting - although it was certainly somewhere near the Belgian/French border south of Ypres. This period is known as the Battle of the Lys (after a nearby river) and marked the second phase of the successful German spring offensive.

During the 17th, the Germans had attacked the trenches occupied by the King's and had captured part of the line. Nearby French soldiers had come to their assistance by quickly counter-attacking and retaking the trenches. There were many casualties, particularly in "D" Company, which was surrounded by the Germans. Once the line had been secured, the remainder of the day was quiet. The Diary gives no details of the 18th, except that the Battalion was relieved from the front line during the night. Although Edward's death is officially recorded as being on the 18th, it seems possible that he was actually killed in the attack on the 17th. In any event, his body was never recovered and identified - perhaps suggesting that he had been killed by a direct hit from a shell.

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