Percy Edwards


Sep 13, 1896

Born at Washago Ontario to Edward and Alice Belinda (nee Howe) Edwards


Jan 26, 1916

Attested into the 157th Battalion at Orillia Ontario 

Ø      Number 643874

Ø      Next of kin given as Edward Edwards (father) of Washago Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Mill Setter

Ø      Previous military experience given as 2 years with the 35th Regiment, Simcoe Foresters

Ø      Religion given as Church of England


Mar 30, 1916

Transferred to the 76th Battalion in Orillia, Ontario and assigned to “B” Company


Apr 23, 1916

Embarked the Empress of Britain at Halifax Nova Scotia


May 5, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent


Jun 19, 1916

Sentenced to 7 days Field Punishment #2 and forfeited 9 days pay for being absent for 2 days


Jun 28, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Jun 29, 1916

Arrived at the CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Havre France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Jul 13, 1916

After leaving the CIBD he joined the 21st Battalion in reserve in the Chippawa Camp near La Clytte, Belgium.  This was a Battalion sports day for the troops with many sporting events organized for the men.


Sep 15, 1916

Private Edwards was reported to be Missing after Action during the fighting at Courcelette when the Battalion had the task of taking the strong point in the Sugar Refinery there.  The Battalion suffered very heavy casualties in 2 days of severe fighting; often in hand to hand combat with the enemy.

His body was either never recovered, of if so, was never identified, so he has no known grave.  Because of this, he is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), shown below, and Scroll were sent to his father, Edward Edwards, at Washago, Ontario 

The Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mrs. Alice Belinda Edwards, at the same address 

In addition to the Honour Roll at St Paul’s Church in Washago Ontario, (below) there is a plaque which reads “'To the Glory of God and in proud and loving memory of Percy Edwards, Roy Hawkins, Albert Rennie who laid down their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918. Their names shall live forevermore”


This is the family plot in the St Paul's Anglican Cemetery, Grass Lake Line, Washago Ontario


As a result of a story by Sara Ross of the Orillia Packet & Times concerning a Death Plaque that was found in England, a family member of  Percy Edwards of the 21st Battalion came forward with a photo of the Plaque (Dead Man's Penny) for Percy and have graciously permitted it to be reproduced here.

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