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Pte. Edward Owen Edwards
Australian Imperial Force C Coy. 36th Btn.
from:Water Street, Smithfield, Country of Cumberland, NSW, Australia
(d.20th Dec 1917)
Owen Edwards - C. Coy. 36th Btn. AIF from NSW Australia.Edward Owen Edwards, aged 17 years, was killed in action on the battlefield near Armentieres France on 20th of December 1917. Known by the name Owen, he enlisted in the parish of Smithfield NSW Australia on 14th Jan 1916 three days after his 16th birthday. Owen declared his age as 18 years to enlist with his mates, and after initial training in Australia,embarked at Sydney HMAT A72 Beltana on 13.05.1916 bound for Southampton UK. Owen saw action in Northern France and Belgium for nearly 18 months before his death.
Owen was treated during this period for a number of conditions, such as piles, due to poor nutrition, and other battlefield injuries resulting in admission to field hospitals, and on one occasion repatriation to Great Britain with eye damage during May/June 1917 due to gas attack treatment, before returning to his unit and the front. Owen was involved in many battlefield regions and his army record includes locations such as Camiers, Atapies, Trouville, and Rouelles.
Owen rests in the Cite Bonjean military cemetery Armentieres Plot 1 Row C Grave 43. His grave originally showed his age as 19 years, however after research and the production of a certified copy of an original berth certificate, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission altered the date to 17 years.
On 19th September 2013 Barry D Gray from Perth Australia, visited his Great Uncle's grave and spread rich red radiated soil from his country of birth. A further memorial and photo can be found on the Cite Bonjean web site under Memorials. Rest in peace and never be forgotten.
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