CWG: Private Edward Welch

Private Edward Welch

Edward Welch was born in Chard, Somerset, at the start of 1899. His parents were Edward and Sarah and he was one of five children, although he also had three half-siblings from Sarah’s previous marriage.

Edward Sr was a gardener who passed away in 1910, leaving Sarah a widow for a second time. She was already working as a lace maker, and this was a trade that Edward Jr’s older siblings also followed.

War was coming to Europe and, while he was too young to enlist when it was first declared, Edward was keen to play his part when he could. He enlisted in the Royal Berkshire Regiment at some point after October 1916, and was assigned to the 9th (Reserve) Battalion. Private Welch was part of the territorial force, and so did not see any action overseas.

There is little additional information about Private Welch’s life: all that can be confirmed is that he passed away “of disease” in hospital on 10th April 1917. He was just 18 years of age.

Edward Welch’s body was brought back to Somerset for burial. He was laid to rest in Chard Cemetery, not far from his family home.


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