631909 GNR. A. F. EDWARD.  R.F.A.

 

Andrew Forbes Edward was born in 1892 in Aberdeen.  His father was Thomas Edward (b. 1860 in Alford, Aberdeenshire), a grocer’s warehouseman.  His mother was Helen Campbell (b. 1861 in Aberdeen).  Thomas and Helen were married in 1891 and Andrew was born the following year.  They also had two daughters: Helen (b. 1894) and Chrissie (b. 1898).  The family lived at 25 Cairnfield Place, Aberdeen.

 

Andrew enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery, probably in 1915.  His service number tells us he was posted to either 1st or 2nd/Highland Brigade.  1st Highland Brigade was attached to 51st (Highland) Division, who went to France in April and May 1915, but Andrew’s Medal Index Card shows he was not awarded the 1915 Star so he must have been attached to the second line unit.  The 2nd Highland Brigade was later renumbered 320 Brigade, and was attached to 64th (2nd Highland) Division.  This Division remained in the UK (first in Scotland, then in the south of England) through 1915 and 1916 and in 1917 was restructured.  Many of the recruits to this Division were used as replacements abroad. 

 

In the summer of 1917, D/276 compliment of guns was increased from 4 to 6 so Andrew may have been in the gun crews associated with the new guns.  If so, he would have fought at Passchendaele and Cambrai. 

 

55th Division relieved 42nd (East Lancashire) Division in the front line at Givenchy and Festubert on 15 February 1918. Here, it faced numerous strong enemy raids in March.  Early April was at first much quieter but this was the quiet before the storm.  The second phase of the German Spring Offensive, variously known as Operation Georgette or the Battle of the Lys, was launched on 9 April 1918.  55th Division were located at the southern end of the front under attack and while the Germans managed to make huge advances in the northern sector, they failed to break the British defence of Givenchy and Festubert. 

 

Andrew died on 18 April 1918 of wounds received in action.  He was 26 years old.

 

Rank:  Gunner

Service No: 631909

Date of Death: 18/04/1918

Age:  26

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, “D” Bty, 276th Bde.

Cemetery/memorial reference: II. F. 2.

Cemetery/Memorial: FOUQUIERES CHURCHYARD EXTENSION

Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Edward, of 31 Harbour Street, Hopeman, Morayshire. Native of Aberdeen.

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