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Remembered Today:

Lt Edwin Bird MC, London Rifle Brigade and East Surrey's


richards13

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I am attempting to find out the circumstances behind Edwin Bird and how he won his MC.

Edwin Bird of Newport Road, Cardiff, was born on the 20 Jan 1890 and embarked for France with the 5th London Rifle Brigade on 25 January 1915.

He suffered severe gunshot wounds to the left thigh on 27 April 1915 and was invalided to England three days later. Bird was commissioned into the 21st Battalion, London Regiment on 15 Sept 1915 and re-embarked for France soon after, winning the M.C. the following year.

I believe at this stage he may have been attached to the East Surrey's when he won his MC - (London Gazette 24 Jun 1916) - 2nd Lt. Edwin Theodore Bird, 21st Bn., Lond. R., T.F -

"For gallant conduct during an attack. He led his bombers with great skill and courage and continued his bombing after being wounded."

If anyone has any information, or suggestions about the action or its date I would be grateful.

Many thanks.

post-28754-0-80903700-1305495232.jpg

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Richards13,

The M.C. citation states that he was with the 21st Battalion of the London Regiment, also called the First Surrey Rifles, which was a Territorial Force regiment

that assigned to the 47th Division throughout 1916. The only major battles the 47th Division fought in for the first half of 1916 were the German atttack on Vimy Ridge

(21 May 1916) and the Battles of the Somme (beginning 1 July 1916). As medals tended to be awarded about three months after the action that warranted them,

Lt. Bird probably helped lead a successful trench raid in March or April, 1916 (the newspaper article states that he helped to capture a German trench and

the award citation states that his grenade ("bomb") attack was very effective). The next step is to find the War Diary for 21/London Regiment and see what

specific action the battalion saw from February-April, 1916 (staging trench raids, repelling German trench raids, small battles, and so on).

Regards,

Trelawney

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R13

Read the digital War Diary today,WO95/2732,for 1/21 Londons,from Jan to May 1916. No references seen at all for any commendations or awards for gallantry for anyone in the Battalion over that period.

Sotonmate

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Almost certainly awarded for the counter attacks on May 23rd at Vimy Ridge where 21st "recaptured the old line of Ersatz Alley, where they stayed for an hour and did great execution among the enemy whom they found in the trench and dugouts." They were compelled to withdraw as flank open. Battalion awarded SEVEN MCs for this action. from 47th Division History. pages 55/56

Chris

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Thank you all for your kind efforts, I am very grateful.

Almost certainly awarded for the counter attacks on May 23rd at Vimy Ridge where 21st "recaptured the old line of Ersatz Alley, where they stayed for an hour and did great execution among the enemy whom they found in the trench and dugouts." They were compelled to withdraw as flank open. Battalion awarded SEVEN MCs for this action. from 47th Division History. pages 55/56

Chris

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Have checked my database since Bird was an original 2nd Battalion man enlisting beginning of Sept 14. There is a dossier at the NA which has all the MC citations with dates & place of the actions which gave me confirmation of the date 23.5.16.. My researchers have done this for me for all 5th London winners and original 1st & 2nd battalion over the years. i have a nominal roll for all 851 1st men and 860 odd 2nd men; Bird"s entry is as follows.

Bird Edwin Theodore

750 Rfn. F/F with the LRB 25.01.15 30.04.15 Commissioned 21st London R. 14.9.15 ; MC 2/Lt. 21 Lond. R. for Vimy Ridge 23.5.16; LG 24.6.16 ;

MC citation reads;

‘For gallant conduct during an attack. He led his bombers with great skill and courage and continued his bombing after being wounded.’

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  • 8 months later...

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