Edward Lionel Gane was born in 1899 and was one of eight children. Known as Lionel, he was the son of Edwin and Joanna Gane, and lived in the quiet Somerset village of Ditcheat. Edwin began life as a pig dealer, but by the time of the 1911 census, had changed direction and become an insurance agent.
Joanna passed away in 1915, and this may have been the impetus Lionel needed to find his way in the world. He enlisted in the Wiltshire Regiment, joining the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Duke of Edinburgh’s brigade.
The battalion – a depot and training unit – were initially based in Devizes, before moving to Dorset and then Kent. While there is no confirmation of when Private Gane enlisted, it would have been by September 1917, which is when the battalion became part of the Thames & Medway Garrison.
The end of the war marked another ending for the Gane family. Edwin passed away on Armistice Day – 11th November – and further tragedy was to follow, as Private Gane contracted influenza and died less than two weeks later.
Edward Lionel Gane died in a military hospital in Malling, Kent, on 24th November 1918. He was just 19 years old. He lies at rest in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church in his home village of Ditcheat.