Reginald William Edwards

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Reginald William Edwards
Personal Information
Date of Birth 6 Apr 1891
Place of Birth Fremantle, Western Australia
Death 14 Jun 1949, aged 58
Place of Death Mt Lawley, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 25 years, 2 months
Description 5'11½" (1.82m) tall ; 155 lbs
70.307 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Surveyor
Religion Church of England
Address 12 Glenroyd street, Mt Lawley, Western Australia
Next of Kin Brother , Mr Aubrey A. Edwards
Military Information
Reg Number W7193
Date of Enlistment 9 Jun 1916
Rank Lieutenant
Unit/Formation 2nd Pioneer Battalion, 12th Reinforcement / 2nd Division
Date of Embarkation 30 Oct 1917 ‒ 27 Dec 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A60 Aeneas Melbourne to Devonport
Date of Return 5 Jan 1919 ‒ 20 Feb 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A61 Kanowna
Fate Wounded in Action 5 Oct 1918 Montbrehain
Returned to Australia
Monument none at present
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Primary and early secondary education was in South Australia, later years of secondary at Scotch College in Perth. Electoral Roll entry - 1916 Shenton road Claremont, surveyor. Had been refused entry to the AIF earlier due to his having varicose veins.

War Service

Entering Blackboy Hill camp, Reg was allocated to the 73rd Depot Company, and after 6 weeks basic training to the 21st reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion. On 22 Aug 1916 he was promoted temporary Corporal and sent to specialist training at the Engineer Officer's Training School in Roseville, NSW. On 3 Oct 1916 he was made an acting Sergeant and transferred to the Engineer's Depot Company. On 2 Feb 1917 he was an Acting Sergeant with the 2nd Military District's Engineer Reinforcements where on 1 Apr 1917 he was promoted 2nd Lieutenant. At this point Reg was transferred to the 12th reinforcement draft for the 2nd Pioneer Battalion.

On arrival in England Reg was sent to the Pioneer Training Battalion at the No.6 camp Sutton Veny before being sent on to the school at Reading on 16 Jan 1918.

Reg proceeded overseas to France on 2 Apr 1918 from Southampton, and after a time with the Australian Infantry Base Depot in Le Havre, he was taken on strength by the 2nd Pioneer Battalion on 26 Apr 1918 when they were in the Millencourt area on the Somme. On 18 May 1918 he was seen by the 5th Field Ambulance who sent him on to the 1st Red Cross Hospital in Le Touquet the next day. Released to the base depot on 1 Jun 1918 , he rejoined the battalion on 8 Jun 1918, as a member of 'A' Company.[1]

A week later he was detached to the Australian Corps Gas School and on 5 Sep 1918 he was promoted Lieutenant before returning to the battalion the next day. On 8 Aug 1918 during the general advance near Cerisy, Reginald's platoon worked its way through Accroche Wood in dense fog to clear a sunken road of debris. During this they surprised and captures a party of German troops.[2]

In the evening of 4 Oct 1918 the 2nd Pioneer Battalion (the first and only Pioneer Battalion to be used in an Infantry attacking role) moved forward, preparatory to involvement in the attack on Montbrehain as part of a weakened 2nd Division. Each Infantry Battalion was at that time only a third of their nominal strength, while 500 Pioneers were available for the attack. 'A' Company of the Pioneers were to mop up behind the infantry and then advance through the southern parts of Montbrehain village. Reg's records show him as wounded in Action on 5 Oct 1918 with a shell wound to the right arm and head (another record states chest wound, penetrating). Reg, along with the rest of 'A' Company were advancing through the outskirts of the village when it was lashed by fire from a machine gun post emplaced near the town cemetery. The left flank platoon, led by Reg rushed the post and during the action several men, including Reg were shot.[3] He was seen first by the 5th Field Ambulance before being passed back to the 58th Casualty Clearing Station who placed him on an Ambulance Train to Rouen. There he entered the 8th General Hospital on 7 Oct 1918 before being evacuated to England aboard HMHS Essequibo on 25 Oct 1918. In England he was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital the next day. On 9 Dec 1918 he was deemed to be 'Convalescent', but was fast tracked for return to Australia.

Reg's appointment was terminated on 14 Apr 1919 at the 5th Military District.

Post War

On 2 Jul 1919 Reginald married Gladys Peploe and they immediately moved into 12 Glenroyd street, Mt Lawley.

Electoral Roll entries - 1919 Shenton road Claremont, surveyor; 1920 - 1943 at 12 Glenroyd street, civil engineer


At time of his initial application his brother (NOK) lived in Armadale and was his NOK. However, on his Application for Commission he gave his mother Mary Anne Edwards as his NOK.

  1. Anzac Pioneers - 2nd Pioneer Battalion AIF - 1916-1919, page 173, Neville Browning OAM
  2. Anzac Pioneers - 2nd Pioneer Battalion AIF - 1916-1919, page 177, Neville Browning OAM
  3. Anzac Pioneers - 2nd Pioneer Battalion AIF - 1916-1919, page 212, Neville Browning OAM

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