Thomas EDMONDS
Rank: Private
Number: 31318
Unit: 10th Battalion ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 9 January 1916
Age: 26
Cemetery: Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Tom was one of four brothers who would serve during the War. Joseph, Sam and Harry fought, respectively, with the Royal Navy (HMS Impregnable), Cheshire and Manchester Regiments. Their parents were john and Sarah Ann of 5 Hyde Street, Portwood (and later of No. 1). There was also an older brother, John and a younger sister, Carrie. He worked as a piecer at Shaw Heath cotton mill

He enlisted into the army on 6 June 1915 and trained at Litherland. Whilst there, he was formally admonished on two occasions for being absent without leave overnight. He went abroad with the newly formed Battalion on 27 September. Just before he did so, he married his fiancée, Alice Bennett, at St Paul's Church on 11 September. Already pregnant, she went to live with his parents but, in the early 1920s, was living at the Edmonds' previous family home at 5 Hyde Street. Tom's service papers still exist at the National Archives and these show him to have been below average height, even for those times, standing at 5' 4". They also confirm that their daughter, Sarah, was born on 25 February 1916.

At the beginning of January, the Battalion was in the front line trenches. Its War Diary entry for the 3rd confirms that this is the day that, whilst serving with "D" Company, Tom was wounded. This was a quiet time at the front with no attacks underway by either side but danger was always present. He will have received attention at a field hospital a few miles behind the line and was then evacuated to 24th General Hospital at Etaples on the Channel coast.

On the 7th, he wrote home to say that he'd been wounded in the leg but hoped to recover soon. The family shouldn't worry about him. But, only a few days later, the family received a letter from Lady Bradford. She was the wife of an army doctor and was a civilian attached to the hospital to write letters of condolence to families. She told them that Tom had been admitted to the hospital after being shot in the leg. It had been found necessary to amputate his leg above the knee but then "it was seen that his whole system was poisoned" and that he had died. His service file shows that his wound was in the left femur and that he died at 1.20am on the 9th.

   
           
   
     
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