A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916.

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A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916.







A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar
"First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio.

To:
9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt.
KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916.

[THE MEDALS]

A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. 1914 Star: 9043 Pte O.L. EDWARDS. 2/R. BERKS: R.
War & Victory: 9093 Pte O.L. EDWARDS R.BERKS.R

(Note:The MIC states that star was returned for amendment but they still actually amended it incorrectly. Still Reads 9043)

A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. [BIOGRAPHY]
Owen Laurence Edwards was the son of James Edwards. He joined the army as a regular soldier (9093) in January 1909. Owen entered France with 2nd Berks on 6th November 1914. He took part in most of the main early battles of 1914 and those of 1915.

A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. [OVILLERS, 1st JULY 1916 ...1st DAY of THE BATTLE of THE SOMME]
On 1 July 1916 the battalion went over the top in one of the many disastrous attacks of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The German positions to be were to attacked were in front of the village of Ovillers, off the Albert/Bapaume road. No Man’s Land was particularly wide at this point and was overlooked by German positions to the north. As the assault on these positions failed the Germans were free to fire across the 2nd Berkshires as they advanced. Despite this some of the Berkshires reached and captured a portion of the enemy front line. However, too few of them made it and it was impossible to follow up with the extra men and munitions that would have been needed to hold the position, which was, in any case, totally untenable as neither flank was covered by an equivalent advance by the battalions to left and right.

The battalion’s casualties were colossal.

A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. [War Diary, 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment – 1 July 1916]
Attack on OVILLERS. The Battalion took up its assembly position in accordance with Brigade Operation Order No. 100. The 2nd Bn Lincolnshire Regt was on the left and the 2Bn Devonshire Regt on right. Our own wire was not sufficiently cut and parties were immediately sent out by Companies to clear it. At 6.25am the intensive bombardment began as scheduled.

At about 7.15am the enemy opened rifle and machine gun fire on our line; this fire was probably drawn by the 2nd Devon Regt which at about this time attempted to line up in front of their parapet. At 7.20am Companies began filing down trenches and getting ready for the assault.

A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. At 7.30am the three assaulting Companies advanced to attack the German line. They were met by intense rifle and machine gun fire which prevented any of the waves reaching the enemy lines. A little group on the left of the Battalion succeeded in getting in, but were eventually bombed out.

At about 7.45am the commanding officer (Lt Col A.M. Holdsworth) and second in command (Major G.H. Sawyer DSO) were wounded in the sap on the left of our front, the commdg officer handed over Command of the Battalion to 2nd Lieut C. Mollet (Actg Adjt) by this time the parapet was swept by rifle and machine gun fire which prevented any exit from our trenches.

The enemy replied to our intensive bombardment by barraging the front line from about 6.35am onwards. No message was received from other Battalions in immediate vicinity. At about 11am the order came from Bde Headquarters to "stand by" and await further orders. About 200 men of the Battalion were collected on the right of the front line and in the assembly trenches off Ulverston Street.

At about 12.30pm news was received that the Brigade would be relieved. At about 3pm Major Hon R. Brand, 2nd Rifle Brigade arranged to take over all the front line and with the sanction of the Brigade the Battalion was withdrawn to Ribble Street. On relief by the 37th Infantry Bde, the Battalion marched back to bivouac in Long Valley. Two Lewis Guns were damaged, Steel Helmets proved invaluable and in numberless cases saved mens lives.

Officers: Killed In Action: Lieut A J G Goodall, 2nd Lieut S S Schneider. Died Of Wounds: Lt Col A M Holdsworth. Wounded: Major G H Sawyer DSO, Captain B Haye, Captain J A Cahill, Lieut W C Adams, 2nd Lieut W S Mackay, 2nd Lieut J V R Owen, 2nd Lieut R G Green, 2nd Lieut W Gale. Missing: Captain H T Rowley, Captain R C Lewis, Lieutenant B S Robinson, Lieut O G Payne, 2nd Lieut H Godfrey, 2nd Lieut B H Belcher, 2nd Lieut P G Shirreff, 2nd Lieut M I Heming, 2nd Lieut S H Bedford. Other Ranks:- 33 Killed, 3 Died Of Wounds, 260 Wounded, 118 Missing.


All of the missing officers were later presumed dead.

A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. In the brutal circumstances of the assault it was relatively unlikely that a man would be taken prisoner, the odds were that any man reported missing was lying out in No Mans’ Land, or had been blown into unidentifiable bits by a shell which was the sad fate for many thousands of our 'lost' men on that terrible day.

In all 148 ‘other ranks’ are recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as having died that day – only six of the missing ever turned up.


A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916. A rare & highly desirable "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar 1st July Casualty. Looking back through our records we find we've never previously had a 1st July group to this unit.

Medals EF with original ribbons & CGW casualty papers.

£1250

A RARE & DESIRABLE

A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916.
£1250

A RARE & DESIRABLE "Old Contemptible" 1914 Star & Bar "First Day Battle of The Somme" CASUALTY Trio. To: 9093. O.L.EDWARDS. 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt. KILLED IN ACTION. 1st JULY 1916.