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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

War Grave

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HI There

can anyone help iam trying to trace the grave of a family member from the 1st world war.

His name is Edward A Ward, 1897-1917.

He was 17 years old when he went to war and died aged 19, on 14th Sept 1917 in France & Flanders as a sergent acording to his Army records.

He was in the Machine Gun Corps, reg no64649.

Ive only recently found him when going though my family tree and no one seems to know where he is buried and the fought of one of my relatives giving there life for his country and not being remembered is shocking, as many thousands of others will feel.

Please if you can help me find his grave i would be very greatful.

Many thanks

Warren N Ward

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His name is Edward A Ward, 1897-1917.

He was 17 years old when he went to war and died aged 19, on 14th Sept 1917 in France & Flanders as a sergent acording to his Army records.

He was in the Machine Gun Corps, reg no64649.

This is your man:


Initials: E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Serjeant

Regiment/Service: Machine Gun Corps

Unit Text: 72nd Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 14/09/1917

Service No: 64649

Additional information: Son of Hannah Ward, of Bromley, Kent, and the late William Anthony Ward.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: XXVI. A. 8.


The link below is to his entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.




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If you click on the link at post 4 above and then click on the cemetery title at the bottom of the form and on the next screen click on cemetery photos you will get a photo segment of this very large place . Edward's grave is about 40 yards to the left of the centre left side of the photo as you look at it.

If you can get there you should. It is beautifully maintained and a grand setting for such a sad place. It's about 40 miles S of Calais on the coast near Le Touquet and was a large Army Centre and Medical facility in WW1. I was there a bit over 2 years ago to visit two of my villager's graves.


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It is really large. Not only in the number of graves, some 11K, but also in the sheer size of it.

I was photographing there last year for a number of hours and it was exhausting. I reckoned that it could take nearly 10 minutes to walk from one side to the other.

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The CWGC cemetery information may help you plan a visit should you want to do so...

Etaples is a town about 27 kilometres south of Boulogne. The Military Cemetery is to the north of the town, on the west side of the road to Boulogne.

Historical Information: During the First World War, the area around Etaples was the scene of immense concentrations of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals. It was remote from attack, except from aircraft, and accessible by railway from both the northern or the southern battlefields. In 1917, 100,000 troops were camped among the sand dunes and the hospitals, which included eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot, could deal with 22,000 wounded or sick. In September 1919, ten months after the Armistice, three hospitals and the Q.M.A.A.C. convalescent depot remained. The cemetery contains 10,771 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the earliest dating from May 1915.

From the date of his death, it is possible that he was wounded in one of the attacks during the Battle of Passchendaele, probably one of the most brutal campaigns in the First World war and had been successfully evacuated as far as the Channel coast. Undoubtedly he was expected to be sent to the UK for recuperation, but then seems to have likely died from complications.

There is a possibility that he had a brother who also died, unfortunately the CWGC site is down for maintenance at this moment.

Do see what you can find on the 1901 and 1911 Census returns and any medal information on that well known family history website!

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As above, it is a rather large cemetery




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Hi All

thanks for the info, Edward did have other brothers but none died in the war.

Looking at his records he was injured by gun shot wounds 2 days before he died in hospital.

I know its a long shot but does anyone know how i can get a photo of him from somwhere, as the family dont have any that i know of ?

PS visiting Londons war museum on thusday anyone want any pic or info.


Warren Ward

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Local papers often had photographs. Some when, or shortly after death was reported, and some earlier, under headings like"local men doing their bit". You would need to look for those probably at the local reference libraries which probably have those papers on microfilm, or at the national collection of newspapers, which I think is somewhere in North London. It can be a long slow job.

Occasionally there are local publications from the years after the war which might also contain photographs. Its way off my patch, so I don't know if there were any.


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I take it you're in touch with the other Ancestry members who have him in their trees (Mark's tree, the five Thompsonfamilytrees - four owned by the same person - Mum's tree and the Merritt tree), Warren? No-one seems to have a photo of him but it's always worth asking: sometimes people just don't load them (have to admit I have't got around to it myself). My brother ended up with one of a great-uncle we've only recently identified.


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