Milborne Port

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poppyThis month's commemorative muffled ring by the bell ringers of St John's will take place on Friday 13th April at 6pm when we will be remembering the life and service of:

Edwin ABBOTT died 13.04.1918
1st Battalion Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment


For a long time we were unable to find any trace of this soldier because the Roll of Honour gives his name as Edward Abbott and there is also some confusion as to his rank – Sergeant or Corporal. We do know that he was in uniform and at, or about to go to, the Front at Christmas 1914.

At the time of his death in April 1918, aged 32 years, he was serving with the 1st Battalion Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. When the Germans began their all-out offensive early that spring, his battalion saw heavy fighting at PloegsteertMessines, Hazebrouck and Bailleul when all British forces were pushed back many miles.

Given the date of his death, Edwin Abbott is likely to have been killed in the fighting at Hazebrouck. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial which bears the names of 11,000 men from Britain and South Africa who died in this area. Prior to the German Spring Offensive most of these men died in the course of day-to-day trench warfare, which was typical in this part of the line, or in small scale actions usually carried out in support of major attacks elsewhere.

His parents were Frank and Sarah Abbott of 192 Brook Street, Milborne Port. Edwin was the fifth of their eight children

(When the 1st Battalion came out of the line in November 1918, only 17 men were left out of all the ranks who had gone to France in 1914.)

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