Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Francis (Frank) Leonard Edwards was born in Bridgnorth, the son of William and Fanny. William was a sadler with a business on Bridge Street. Frank also became a saddler working in his father’s business and, at some time, for Hockenhull Bros of Chester Road, Manchester.
As a sadler, Frank’s services were in demand from the Army – which relied on horse transport for most of its logistics. He was specially enlisted into the Army Service Corps in November 1914 at the enhanced rate of 5 shillings per day. He went to France in July, 1915 where he served with the divisional train which moved the ammunition, food and other supplies needed by the 17th Division.
Frank married Ethel Morgan in March 1918. He died on the 29th October from wounds received when an enemy bomb exploded. He is now buried in Selridge British Cemetery, Montay.
Staff Serg Edwards, TS/4991, was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 15 Star. His death was reported in the Bridgnorth Journal on 7th December, 1918.
KILLED IN ACTION [Bridgnorth Journal, Saturday 7th December, 1918] Mrs. Edwards, of 31 Severn Street, Bridgnorth, has received official notice that her husband, Staff Sergt.-Saddler Frank Leonard Edwards, 4991, No. 1 Coy., A.S.C., died of wounds received in action in France on the 29th October. Major R. Godfrey Mundy in a letter to the wife expressing the sympathy of himself, the officers and men of the company says:- “He was universally beloved, and I can assure you that to me, personally, his death is a terrible blow. He has been in my company since the company was formed, and I had got, not only to appreciate his excellent qualities as a soldier, but also as a man.” Major Mundy, in a letter to the deceased’s mother, Mrs Edwards, 6 Listley Street, informs her that her son was killed in a night bombing raid, and that death was absolutely instantaneous. He was buried at Neuville, in the British Cemetery. A cross was erected by the company, and he was having a brass tablet engraved and put on as well. He adds: "Your son was certainly one of the very best liked, most popular, and most efficient N.C.O.'s in the company. To me his death was a very real and personal loss, and he was a man for whom I had the greatest esteem and admiration. Every officer and man who could be present was at his funeral, and you would have been proud to see the esteem in which he was held." The Chaplain also wrote in sympathetic terms to the man's mother.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.