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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers 1st World War, 258 Coy RE


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I am interested in discovering how my grandfather Pte Gilbert Edge (army no 129) from Birches Head, Hanley Stoke-on-Trent who joined the 8th in 1914 and died in August 1916 actually died, and what was the role of the battalion up to the date of his death. He had been employed in the local mines and hearsay has it he was blown up by a mine. Just wondering if he was actually laying a mine rather than diffusing one as verbal history within the family would have me believe. Know this is a lot to ask but would be grateful for any pointers in the right direction!


Jo Snee

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Hi Jo


Welcome to the Forum


I'll start this off but haven't got the complete answer.

His Soldiers Died Great War entry show Killed in Action 14th August 1916

His Medal Roll entry shows that when he died he was attached to 258th Coy of the Royal Engineers. They were a Tunneling Coy.  What's needed now is someone who can see if a War Diary exists for that unit, that date.


(In your first post above see if you can select an Edit button and if so I suggest that you add 258 COY RE in the header to attract those with an interest in RE Tunnellers who may have the War Diary details)

Edited by Hywyn
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The war diary can be purchased online from the National Archives for £3.50. The diary for the date of his death states:


'At 4.30am the enemy exploded a mine near No 23 [2B/28?] Mine L1R1, Five men were killed by the rush of gas (CO)[carbon monoxide?], a secondary explosion occurred so that all the gas was burnt. Men in other workings being unaffected. No 23 Mine deep is gassed.'


This would mean the Germans initiated an explosive charge in a German tunnel dug beneath the British trenches or tunnels to destroy the positions above as part of tunnel warfare that took place on the Western Front.   The secondary explosion may have been caused by the sympathetic initiation of a similar British mine or explosive charge.   This is different to the use of land mines which would be something different.


There is also a map of the workings which were near Hill 70 near Loos. You may be able to identify the near-exact spot where he was killed.


There are a number of experts on underground warfare and the various Tunnelling Companies who could help further.  


Kind regards



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1 hour ago, clk said:



A link to the diary is here





If you do go for the War Diary as per link provided by Chris then you need to know that, according to his Medal Roll, his attachment with them was from 5 5 1916 to 14 8 1916

Edited by Hywyn
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  • 4 years later...

Hello I've only just found this site an hour ago and am very happy too have found the link to the 258th RE Company which my Grandfather Thomas Kelly reg no 156388 served with from 1916 to 1919 after being transferred from the KOSB reg no 15102 1914 to 1916 Being a coalminer from Manchester 

Thomas and Lilian Kelly.jpg

Thomas Kelly 258 th RE Corps.jpg

Edited by Martymate
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  • Michelle Young changed the title to 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers 1st World War, 258 Coy RE

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