Edward KELLY
Rank: Private
Number: 49066
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 24 December 1916
Age: 27
Cemetery: Gorre British & Indian Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Edward's family home was at 35 Gradwell Street, Stockport. He was one of the eight children of Patrick and Mary Kelly and one of four brothers to be serving with the army in 1916. Two other brothers and two sisters were at home. Prior to enlisting in the army he worked at Preston's clothing works. Edward was engaged to be married to a young woman called Ethel.

Edward's original service number, 4814, is one associated with the local Territorial Battalion (the 6th Cheshires) and was allocated around mid to late 1915. He probably undertook his army training with the Territorials' reserve Battalion but, when he was ready to go overseas, the 1st Battalion was probably in greater need of men. When he was transferred, probably in early 1916, he was allocated the above new number.

In late December 1916, the Battalion was at Gorre - a small hamlet 4 kilometres east of the French town of Bethune. He was killed, by shellfire, whilst digging a new trench from the front line into No Man's Land (known as a sap). His company officer later wrote to Mr & Mrs Kelly "I am sorry to have to write you at this season of the year to tell you of the death of your son. He was killed on December 24, whilst working at the head of a sap - him and two others. Death was instantaneous. I helped bury him this morning in the Soldiers' Cemetery at the foot of an old chateau. You can know he died fighting a righteous cause and that he laid down his life for others and in the act of doing his duty. May God strengthen you and comfort you in your loss, as I know He will."

The two other soldiers killed were Samuel Frost from Staffordshire and Wilfred Robbins from Worksop.

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