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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Could this be Pte. Edward J. Read of London Regiment?


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I do not generally look for British Soldiers during our hunts for the Canadians but I am researching Bedford House Cemetery looking for 2nd Lt. D. W. C. Townsend, Pilot of a Napier RE8 that was KIA with our Canadian Lt. L. V. Gray.

While there I saw a listing for this British lad:

Plot 12 Row G Grave 8, exhumed at 28.C.12.b.4.6 (immediately north of St. Julien - map below) Unknown British Soldier 10/Londons (Hackney), Ring Engraved "EJR"

The COG-BR is at the bottom of this post.

I checked the CWGC database, as we have found a number by regiment and initials, and there are only two (2) associated with the London Regiment and only one (1) associated with the 10th Bn. This is what is says for him:

EDWARD J. READ #424195

Private London Regiment 2nd/10th Bn.

Age: 36

Died: 08-11-17

TYNE COT MEMORIAL Panel 150 to 153

I have very limited knowledge of the British Regiments, other than those where my grandfathers served, so I pass this on to someone who may have knowledge of the whereabouts of the 10/London Regiment at the time of his death in November 1917.



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From: War Diary London Regiment, 10th (County of London) Battalion (Hackney) - 2/10 Battalion London Regiment - November 1917

6/11/17 Relieved 2/11th Bn London Regt in the line. Battalion front Helles Houses(?) on the left to Tracas Farm on the right in front of Poelcappelle. Relief very difficult owing to mud. Casualties on relief 6 killed and 5 wounded. Men were stuck in the mud and could not get away from the shelled fire.

07/11/17 A Patrol under 2/Lt Henderson Cpl P____ + 19 OR left Helles Houses(?) to push out towards Spider X Roads to obtain identification from the enemy. 22 Prisoners were taken and over 20 killed besides some wounded, our casualties 2 OR slightly wounded. Hand to hand fighting took place but our men got back to our lines without further loss.

08/11/17 Battalion relieved by 2/7th Bn London Regiment in the line and moved back to Siege Camp near Vlamertinghe.

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War -

Name: Edward James Read

Birth Place: Walworth

Residence: Bromley

Death Date: 8 Nov 1917

Death Place: France and Flanders

Enlistment Place: Poplar

Rank: Private

Regiment: London Regiment

Battalion: 10th (County of London) Battalion (Hackney)

Regimental Number: 424195

Type of Casualty: Killed in action

In 1901, Edward, aged 19, was employed as an Electrician and living in Bromley with his widowed mother Alma, a Charwoman, and his siblings George (22); Frederick (21); Annie (19); Kate (14); Robert (9)

In 1911, Edward, aged 29, was employed as a Liftman in a Tea Warehouse and living in Bromley with his widowed mother Alma Amelia and his siblings Frederick C (31); Robert T (19); Kate E (24)


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Helles House (20.V.14.c.9.6) and Tracas Farm (20.V.20.d.7.5) are both East of Poelcappelle. Spider Cross Roads is further NE of Helles House at 20.V.14.b.9.8. About one and a half to two miles, from Springfield.

If it is EJR, did he fall either going into, or coming out, of relief?


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Thanks for the follow-up. At least it is in the same area. I have learned from the ones done here that we also have to look at where Battalion Burial Grounds were located as well as Aid Posts. Was he wounded and taken back south or did he fall where he was KIA? We are fortunate here on this side of the pond that we have the records that give us a lot of those details but I understand a lot of the British records were destroyed in WWII.

Helles House = 50.9241, 2.9658

Tracas Farm = 50.9156, 2.9713

Remains = 50.8961, 2,9426

Google Earth tells me we are talking about a 3.5 km separation from the remains and the two locations reported.


It appears Siege Camp (50.8728, 2.8192) is on the route either in or out as you say:


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  • 4 weeks later...

I overlooked this interesting thread when it was first posted.

The 10th Battalion London Regiment has 31 soldiers commemorated by the CWGC with a surname beginning with the letter R (the Unit designation is variously 1st/10th, 2nd/10th or just 10th).

Only four out of that 31 have a first name beginning with the letter E.

One of those four can be immediately discounted because he has a middle initial of S:

Private Ernest S Roxbee 425505 Date of Death:08/11/1917 Tyne Cot Memorial Panel Reference:Panel 150 to 153.

By coincidence, the remaining three all have the same initials of EJR BUT

Private Evan J Richards 423707 Date of Death:25/09/1917 has a known grave and is buried at Bedford House Cemetery Grave Reference: Enclosure No.4 XII. G. 43.


Private Edward James Rossiter 424389 Date of Death:01/12/1917 also has a known grave and is buried at Sainte Marie Cemetery, Le Havre Grave Reference:Div. 62. I. L. 3.

which leaves Private Edward J Read as the only possible candidate for the 'Known unto God' for the Bedford House Cemetery grave at Plot 12 Row G Grave 8.

The very fact that the remains were recovered with a 10th London Regiment (Hackney) Cap Badge and a personal artefact in the form of a ring with the initials "EJR" engraved provides not only compelling but incontrovertible evidence that it is, as Laughton has indicated, Private Edward J Read buried at Bedford House as an unknown.

Has anybody already taken this case up with the CWGC?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Good evening All.

Here are some interesting facts that concern Pte 424195 Edward J Read of the 2/10th London Regiment (Hackney), who was killed on the 8th November 1917. Firstly I checked the casualties belonging to "ALL" the battalions on the London Regiment on Geoffs Search Engine for the following dates 7th 8th and 9th November 1917. the casualty lists from Geoffs Search Engine show that there were no casualties belonging to the 10th Battalion London Regiment killed on the 7th November 1917, and there were none killed on the 9th November 1917, however on the 8th November 1917 there were 10 casualties killed belonging to the 10th Battalion. And only 1 had the initials of E J R. So the soldier that is buried as an unknown in grave 12.G.8 in Bedford House Cemetery can only be Pte 424195 Edward J Read of the 10th Battalion London Regiment (Hackney) who was killed on the 8th November 1917. and his engraved ring is the most important piece of evidence that there could be and should have been picked up on years ago when he was found.

I would be prepared to carry this one forward,I have already discussed this with Laughton,I am already in the process of putting forward 2 cases to the C.W.G.C for their consideration regarding identification. I will keep you all informed on this mans case.

Kind Regards Andy.

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  • 1 month later...

Please note the error in my first post that says Grave 8 as the COG-BR clearly says 43. I honestly have no idea at the moment where I derived that number. MelPack is correct it is Grave 43 and the man is known.

My sincere apologies to all involved - blame it on the colonials!!

Richard :blush:

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