Edwin Edgar Jr. (1895–1916) was a 19-year-old from Greenspond, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland. On December 16, 1914, he gave up the $150 he was earning as an apprentice engineer and joined the Newfoundland Regiment. Edgar sailed for England in February 1915 and went to Egypt with the Regiment that August. He landed at Suvla Bay on the Gallipoli Peninsula on September 20, 1915, when the Newfoundland Regiment came under enemy fire for the first time. By the following March, he was in France with the Regiment. Edgar died at the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel in France on the morning of July 1, 1916, when 85 percent of the Newfoundland Regiment were either killed or wounded. The Regiment's War Diary provides moving eyewitness testimony of the men's bravery as they left their trenches and struggled across no man's land: “The enemy's fire was effective from the outset but the heaviest casualties occurred on passing through the gaps in our front wire where the men were mown down in heaps. Many more gaps in the wire were required than had been cut. In spite of losses, the survivors steadily advanced until close to the enemy's wire by which time very few remained. A few men are believed to have actually succeeded in throwing bombs into the enemy's trench.” Like many of the men killed on that day, Edgar's body was never found. He is commemorated on the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, which lists the 820 Newfoundlanders who have no known graves.
Service Record Details
(LAC acknowledges the participation of the Provincial Archives Division, The Rooms Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, for the links to their Digitized Personnel Files.)
Date of Birth: 1895
Date of Attestation: December 16, 1914
Age at Enlistment: 19 years
Prior Military Service: None
Height: 5 feet, 8 inches
Weight: 126 pounds
Description: Fair complexion, light hair and blue eyes
Home Address: Greenspond, Newfoundland
Trade: Apprentice engineer
Next of Kin: Edwin Edgar (father)
Theatre of War: Dardanelles and Europe
Interesting Details from the Service Record
Although Private Edgar was reported missing on July 1, 1916, it took until November for military authorities to determine that he had in fact been killed on that day.
The London Gazette
No mentions found.
Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)
No mentions found.
No records located.