Edward BOUSKILL
Rank: Lieutenant
Number:
Unit: 21st Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 4 October 1917
Age: 21
Cemetery: Buttes New British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Edward was the younger son of George and Sarah Bouskill of "Romanhurst" Bramhall Lane, Bramhall (and later "Bramhall Grange" on the same road). His older brother, Clifford, served as a Lieutenant in the 1/10th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.

He had attended Manchester Grammar School and Stockport Commercial School and was studying at Manchester University when War was declared in August 1914. He joined its Officer Training Coprs in January 1915 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieuteant in the April. He is known to have been a member of one of the local lacrosse clubs.

Edward went overseas on 16 September 1916, departing from Folkestone for Boulogne and joined the Regiment's 22nd Battalion. On 26 November, he was in the trenches near the Somme village of Beaumont-Hamel, when he was shot in the hand. It was a fairly superficial wound but he was also suffering from "trench fever" which caused him to have severe pains in his legs. On 1 December, he was invalided back to the UK and spent some time in the Northumberland War Hospital at Newcastle. The wound to his hand healed quickly but it left the tendons stiff and it was not until 27 July 1917 that he was fully fit and ready to return to duty. At this point, he was transferred to the 21st Battalion.  

The Third Battle of Ypres started on 31 July and was still progressing very slowly through the rain and thick mud of the Passchendaele Ridge weeks later. The action in which Edward was killed was later designated as the Battle of Broodseinde. The attack would be carried out by 12 British Divisions - over 200, 000 men. During the evening of the 3rd, the Battalion moved up to positions at Polygon Wood. They would be in support of the 22nd Battalion and would need to be ready to go forward to reinforce their comrades. The German artillery heavily shelled them from about 2am until the attack started at 6am.

"A" Company was quickly attached to the 22nd Battalion and came under its orders. "C" and "D" Companies took up positions in Jetty Trench, whilst "B" dug in near The Butt and would provide support by carrying up ammunition and other supplies. The attack went in at 6am and, almost immediately, "A" was sent forward into action. By 9.30am, further reinforcements were needed and the men from "D" went forward. They were followed by "C" at about 2.30pm.  Sometime during the day, Edward was killed and William Hargreaves was mortally wounded.

Later his Colonel wrote to Mr & Mrs Bouskill "His loss is very much regretted throughout the Battalion, as he was a favourite of both officers and men and was one of the most promising officers in the Regiment. May I offer you the sympathy which the whole Battalion feels for you in your loss."

The Cemetery where Edward is buried was created after the Armistice when many small front line burial areas were closed as the land was returned to civilian use. Edward's body will have been exhumed from its original burial place and brought to the Buttes. For reasons now not known, the location of his grave and those of 34 others has been lost. As they are known or believed to be buried in the Cemetery, they are commemorated by a special memorial rather than individual headstones. They are likely to be amongst the 1675 unidentified graves in the Cemetery whose headstones are marked only "Known unto God".

As well as his commemorations on the Bramhall and Stockport War Memorials, Edward is also remembered on the Memorial at St George's Church on Wellington Road South and that at the University.

   
           
   
     
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