On this day in 1918, Edward Bawden (1890-1918) was killed just 18 days before the Great War ended.
Edward was a corporal in the 1st Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment when he lost his life in the nine-day Battle of the Selle on the Western Front on October 23, 1918. He was 28.
His death was announced in The Western Times and The North Devon Journal just after the Armistice.
A letter sent to his widow, Nance by the captain of Edward’s battalion said he had died instantly when he was shot in the head.
The captain added that Edward was ‘beloved by all who knew him’.
Edward joined the Army Service Corps (ASC) in August 1914 before being transferred to the Wiltshire Regiment.
He had only been on the front line for 10 days when he died in the Battle of Selle – part of the Hundred Days Offensive.
He was buried at the Ovillers New Communal Cemetery in France.
An inscription on his headstone includes the following words: ‘For now they desire a better country that is heavenly’.
Edward, one of five brothers from Bishops Nympton who went to war, is also remembered on Bishops Nympton War Memorial.
Born on November 15, 1890 in Bishops Nympton, Edward was the son of baker John Bawden (1861-1933) and Eliza Shapland (1863-1922). He married Nancy ‘Nance’ Cann (1889-1922) on May 16, 1910 in Plymtree. In 1911, Edward, an assurance collector and Nance, a dressmaker, lived in Church Street, South Molton.
Edward’s sister, Daisy Winifred Bawden (1899-1980), married Wilfred Charles Singerton (1897-1959) – who served in the Great War – in Bishops Nympton in 1923. Wilfred was the son of Fred Singerton (1871-1942) and Elizabeth Gibbs (1875-1937). Fred was a brother of William John Singerton (1869-1951) who married Dinah Arscott (1870-1938) on November 4, 1896 in Dulverton. Dinah was the daughter of John Arscott (1838-1897) and Susan Couch (1836-1896). John was the son of John Arscott (1807-1879), my great-great grandfather.
Ovillers New Communal Cemetery where Edward was buried. Photo taken on October 9, 2018 by Rene Hourdry (CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oviller_Cimeti%C3%A8re_1.jpg