Edwin CORBETT
Rank: Gunner
Number: 63887
Unit: 111th Siege Battery ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 23 September 1916 (or 21 September)
Age: 23
Cemetery: Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France

Ann Corbett and her five children originated from Montgomeryshire and all the children had been born at Cefn-y-Coed. Her husband had died in the 1890s and, by 1901, she had remarried to Richard Thomas, a man some 15 years younger than she was. When the Census was taken that year, the family was living at Stanton upon Hine Heath in Shropshire where Richard worked as a herdsman. At some point between then and the Great War, they moved to Hazel Grove, where Ann is later known to have been living at 5 Chester Road.

Edwin enlisted into the army at Stockport and was assigned to the artillery. The batteries of the Royal Garrison Artillery fired the heaviest weapons in the arsenal of the British Army and were situated some considerable way behind the front line. The guns would be used to batter enemy strongpoints and were a devastating weapon of the time. As such, they were usually targets for the German’s own heavy artillery.

The records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission show Edwin’s date of death as being 23 September, yet Royal Artillery records published after the War show it as the 21st. Without further research it is impossible to know which is correct as the information given by the Commission would also have originated from the Royal Artillery. His death certificate would confirm which is correct, although the 23rd is the most likely as the CWGC records tend to be more accurate than the publication mentioned.

Few records now exist of the Royal Garrison Artillery so it is not possible to know the circumstances under which Edwin died. The Battle of the Somme, which had started on 1 July, was still underway in September and,whilst the 21st and 23rd were both relatively quiet days, the opposing artillery would still have been active.

The Cemetery at Dernancourt was used by the one of the Main Dressing Stations and Edwin is known to have died of wounds (rather than being killed outright). It would appear, therefore, that he was wounded near the gun position and evacuated to Dernacourt but died before he could be evacuated further.

   
           
   
     
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