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Edwin Haslam

Date of birth: 1912
Date of death: 12.6.1940
Area: Wrenthorpe
Regiment: Middlesex
Family information: Husband of Gladys Maria Haslam nee New
Rank: Private
Service number: 4744323

War Service

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has two Edwins, an Ernest and an Edward Haslam recorded. According to the electoral register, in 1938 there is an Edwin living at Ivy Bank, Wrenthorpe Lane with what appears to be his parents Arthur and Alice and a sister Mary Alice. There is also an Ernest Haslam living in Bar House, Silcoates with what appears to be his wife, Amy. I believe Ernest is brother to Edwin but that isn’t important, what is important is that Ernest and Amy were still there in 1945 therefore Ernest can’t have been the one killed in 1940!
This leads me to conclude that it is likely to be Edwin Haslam who was Private 4744323 in the Middlesex Regiment 1st Battalion Princess Louise’s Kensington Regiment, who died on 12th June 1940 aged 27. This gives a birth date of about 1912 and there was an Edwin born in the Wakefield District in 1912, mother’s maiden name Pugh. Arthur Haslam married Alice Pugh in 1901 in Wakefield.
In the 1911 census Arthur and Alice were living in Sandal with their children Mary Alice (b 1903), Samuel (b 1904) and Ernest (b 1909). Registration records show that they had three further children – Edwin (b 1912), Irene (b 1916) and Jack (b 1918).
On 25th March 1940 Edwin married Gladys Maria New at St Anne’s Church, Wrenthorpe, but he must have been straight back on duty with the British Expeditionary Force in France. In April 1940 the Kensington Regiment was attached to the 51st (Highland) Division who were cut off and forced to evacuate through St Valery-en-Caux in the hope that the Navy would rescue them. The Navy, however, had been hampered by fog, the loss of some boats and enemy occupation of the cliff tops above them, so had been unable to carry out the evacuation. The Germans surrounded them and the town was under constant bombardment from air and artillery. The French surrendered on the morning of 12th June, followed later that same morning by the British. Unfortunately, it was too late for Edwin, who died the same day and was buried in the St Valery-en-Caux Franco British Cemetery.

Photo of St Valery-en-Caux Franco British Cemetery. Rows of headstones with a line of trees to either side. St Valery-en-Caux Franco British Cemetery

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