CWG: Serjeant Edwin Lloyd

Serjeant Edwin Lloyd

Edwin Lloyd was born at the start of 1885 and was the youngest of ten children. His father, Henry, was from Bristol; while his mother, Mary, had been born in Ireland.

Henry had been a Serjeant in the armed forces, and his postings are reflected in the places where Edwin and his siblings were born. Henry and Mary’s oldest to children were born in Aden, Arabia (now Yemen), but by 1875, the family were back in England and their next oldest child was born in Dover, Kent. Sarah, the youngest of Edwin’s sisters, was born in Colchester, Essex the following year, but by 1879, Henry had left the army, and had moved the family to Frome, Somerset.

In his retirement, Henry took a job as a grocer, the family living above the shop on the main thoroughfare into the town. Edwin did not follow his father’s trade when he left school; instead the 1901 census lists him as a metal engineer, one of only two of the siblings still living above Henry’s shop.

Henry died in 1907 – a lot of the documentation about his life suggests he was a bit free about his age. The notice in the Somerset Standard announcing his passing gives his age as 69, although it is likely that he was closer to 80.

The following year, Edwin married Florence Emily Letchford in St Matthew’s Church, Bristol. Florence was the daughter of a travelling salesman, but their marriage record sheds more light onto Edwin’s life by this stage and he was recorded as a police constable.

Edwin’s time in the police seems to have been short-lived, however, as, by the census three years later, his role had reverted to memorial brass engraver.

War was coming to Europe, and, while Edwin’s full service records are not available, it’s possible to piece together some of his life in the army. He enlisted in 1915, joining the Dorsetshire Regiment, and was assigned to the 5th (Service) Battalion.

Edwin’s battalion fought at Gallipoli and served in Egypt, moving finally to France in the summer of 1916. He was obviously a diligent soldier, as, by the end of the conflict, he had made the rank of Serjeant.

A local newspaper reported on the end of his army life:

He had served with the forces for about four years, and on his way home from France he was taken ill, and was, when he arrived at home, in a somewhat critical condition. The fatigue of the journey told still further upon him, and he passed away three days after his arrival.

Somerset Standard: Friday 7th March 1919

Serjeant Lloyd’s pension record gives the cause his passing as influenza, pneumonia and syncope, sadly none of which were uncommon for soldiers returning from the front. He was just 34 years old when he died on 25th February 1919.

Edwin Lloyd was laid to rest in the Vallis Road Cemetery (also known as the Dissenters’ Cemetery) in Frome.

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