Edwin ELLIS
Rank: Private
Number: 9149
Unit: No. 1 Company, 2nd Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 11/12 March 1915
Age: 24
Cemetery: St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery, Wulvergem, Belgium

Edwin was born in the parish of St Augustine's C of E Church, Stockport Road in the summer or early autumn of 1891. His family home was probably at 6 Garrett Street, Cheadle Heath where, in 1915, his mother, brother and sisters were living (he had other family at School Street).

As a boy he had been in the Army Cadets Cheadle Company and his ambition was to become a soldier. When he left school he worked as a billiard maker and as a waiter at the George Hotel in Stockport. After two years, he was old enough to join up and served for two years in Britain. From about 1910, Edwin was with the Battalion in India. When war was declared in August 1914, the Battalion was ordered home, arriving on Christmas Eve. There was time only for about four days leave before he had to rejoin his comrades and get ready for the Battalion to go overseas again. On 12 January, they left Southampton for Le Havre.

Edwin was a member of the Battalion's band. When on active service, such as wartime, the bandsmen's main job was to act as stretcher bearers and Edwin had one lucky escape not long after he arrived on the Western front. A shell exploded not far away and shrapnel cut through his overcoat and tunic but he was uninjured. He would not be so lucky on 11 March.

On that day, the Battalion was near Bailleul, in northern France. Just after midnight, it was ordered forward to a position known as "R. E. Farm", some 10 kilometres away across the border to the Belgian village of Wulverghem.  Their orders were to support an attack by 7th Brigade. This attack failed and the Cheshires were not called on to go into action. However, their War Diary records that Nos. 1 and 2 Companies were heavily shelled by the enemy. 3 men were killed, another 10 were wounded and I man was posted as missing (his body was never found and identified). The next day, the Battalion was relieved back to billets.

The deaths of Edwin and the others are all recorded in official records as occurring on 12 March, but it is clear from the Battalion's account that they must have occurred on the 11th.

   
           
   
     
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