Milborne Port

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poppyOn Thursday 1st February at 6pm the bellringers of St John's will commemorate the life of :

 Edward HAM died 01.02.1918
59th Field Company, Royal Engineers

Edward Ham's name is on a list showing men from Milborne Port in uniform and at the Front at Christmas 1914. We can therefore assume that he was a 'Regular' with the Royal Engineers. The 1911 Census shows him as having been born in Milborne Port and employed as a plasterer.

The 59th Field Company RE was attached to the 5th Division of the BEF and was involved in all the major actions throughout the war on the Western Front:
1914   Mons, the Marne, the Aisne, Le Cateau and the First Battle of Ypres.
1915   Second Battle of Ypres and the capture of Hill 60.
1916   The Somme, High Wood, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette, Morval and Le Transloy
1917   The Battles of Arras and, in the autumn of that year, the Battle of Passchendaele.

TourgevilleThe Commonwealth War Graves website gives the details of L/Cpl Ham's death, aged 33 years, as from a gas attack on Hill 60 at Zillebeke. Hill 60, located around three miles south-east of Ypres, is not a natural feature, but was made from the spoil removed during the construction of the railway line nearby. Because it was a small area of elevated land in a flat landscape, it obviously had strategic importance in all the actions in the Ypres Salient.

He is buried at Tourgeville Military Cemetery, on the French coast just south of Le Harve having been treated for pulmonary tuberculosis caused by gas poisoning. His widowed mother Eliza Ham lived at 18 Bauntons Orchard, Milborne Port.

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