Edgar Edward Irwin

Edgar Edward Irwin


     Edgar Edward Irwin was born in Port Hope 13 August 1896 and educated at the Port Hope Public School. He was a bright and promising young man, much respected by all who knew him.

     He enlisted with the 136th Battalion and went to England and later to France with the 21st Battalion where, three weeks later, he made the supreme sacrifice for his King, his Country and for Freedom. His death occurred while on duty with a clearing-up party, removing the dead and wounded from the field. He and some comrades had taken shelter in a captured "pill box" of the enemy while under fire. A direct hit caused the death of several men, including Edgar. He was buried near Ypres, Belgium.

Taken from the "Book of Remembrance (A record of the men of Port Hope who participated in the Great War of 1914-1918)" by James A. Elliott, Chairman of Committee, Port Hope, Jan. 1st, 1919.

Above photo and text reproduced with permission


Below is a summary of his military service file compiled by Al Lloyd


Aug 12, 1897

Born in Port Hope, Ontario to James Herbert and Catherine (nee Wilson) Irwin


Nov 10, 1915

Attested into the 136th Battalion CEF in Port Hope, Ontario 

Ø      Number 805085

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. James Irwin, mother, Welcome, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist 

He lied about his age, stating that he was born in 1896, not the actual year of 1897 

His brother, Delbert James Irwin, attested into the same battalion 1 month later.  He also lied about his age 

The battalion carried out training in the Port Hope area of Ontario


Sep 25, 1916

Embarked the SS Corsican in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Oct 6, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to the West Sandling Camp near Hythe, Kent where the battalion was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion to continue training.


Oct 14, 1916

During a training exercise, Private Irwin suffered pain in his right foot and was placed on light duties.  The pain stemmed from an injury that occurred when he was a child.


Oct 30, 1916

Attached to CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot) at St. Leonard’s Hospital to continue his recovery and 4 weeks of PT (Physical Training) 

Posted to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) for pay purposes while in hospital


Jan 27, 1917

Discharged from St. Leonard’s Hospital and posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion to continue training


May 19, 1917

Admitted to the Canadian Raven’s Croft Military Hospital in Eastbourne with a diagnosis that reads Appendicitis


Jun 15, 1917

The diagnosis was changed to read Myalgia


Jun 30, 1917

Discharged to duty from hospital


Aug 22, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion 

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France as part of a draft of 6 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Sep 6, 1917

After leaving the base depot, he joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Villers au Bois


Nov 6, 1917

While the battalion was resting in the Erie Camp near Brandhoek, Belgium, Private Irwin was assigned to a work party assigned to removing bodies from the battlefield.  The party came under a German artillery barrage and he was killed.  Private Irwin was buried in the nearby Potijze Chateau Cemetery.

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Catherine Irwin, 46 Russell St., Lindsay, Ontario



For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below is the name of Edgar Irwin being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.


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