Edwin Young and Florence Crapper had married in a civil ceremony registered at Manchester in 1897. They would have at least two children - a daughter and son who, in the custom of the times, they named Florence and Edwin. When the census was taken in 1901, the family was living in Longsight and Mr Young was earning his living as letterpress printer. It's not known what happened to the family over the following few years but, by the time Edwin joined the army, they had moved to Denbigh Villa, Chester Road, Norbury Moor, Hazel Grove.
Edwin will have been conscripted into the army when he became 18 and was assigned to one of the Training Reserve Battalions (service number 42012). A few weeks later, he will have gone overseas and attached to the Borderers.
On 11 October 1918, the Battalion moved into the front line, relieving the 2nd Battalion, Leinster Regiment near the Belgian village of Ledgehem. They would spend two days here and, on the 12th, had five soldiers wounded by German artillery shelling in retaliation for a British gas attack on their lines. The next day, the Battalion's War Diary also records heavy enemy shelling.
The previous weeks had seen British troops maintain an almost constant attack on the now retreating Germans. On the 14th, the Borderers would rejoin the advance to assist with the capture of Ledgehem. Other units led the attack in the morning, advancing some 6000 yards and capturing over 1000 prisoners. The Borderers also advanced in support but were not involved in close combat. The Regimental History records they moved forward through a thick fig caused by the smoke from the artillery and the men found it very difficult to keep to the correct route.
Sometime during this period, Edwin was badly injured. The fact that he is buried at nearby Dadizeele means that he died before he could be evacuated to a field hospital and probably suggests that he died at the dressing station just behind the front line. Almost certainly, it means he was probably injured the day he died rather than earlier.
Edwin is remembered on the Hazel Grove War Memorial and his story was previously researched by John Eaton for the book "Hazel Grove to Armageddon". Some of the above information may not have been available to Mr Eaton in 1998 and, perhaps, this led him to conclude that Edwin has no known grave. In fact he is buried only a few yards away from the great uncle of this site's webmaster, who was killed on 15 October.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission wrongly records Edwin's service as being with the Monmouthshire Regiment and the headstone on his grave is, no doubt, similarly wrong. Regimental records published after the War and his medal entitlement records at the National Archives correctly show South Wales Borderers.