John Rathbone Edwards

Date of birth: 1880
Place of birth: Dolgellau, Wales
Regiment: Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
Battalion: 7th
Rank / Service No: 2nd Lieutenant
Died: 6th July 1916, aged 36 years
Buried: Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, Belgium (Plot II, Row C, Grave 20)


John was the fifth of 9 siblings born to Griffith and Hannah Edwards (nee Davies), who married in Pennal, Wales on 12 February 1870.

Griffith was born in Dolgellau in 1840 and died in the town in 1902.


Hannah was an antiques dealer and was born in Pennal in 1845; she married David Evans in Aberystwyth in 1906 and passed away in Aberfan in 1917.



Jenny   b. 21 June 1871  Dolgellau  d. 1925 Swansea   Married Abel Griffiths in Bedwelty in 1899.

Margaret Jane   b. 1873 Dolgellau   d. 1874 Dolgellau

Rose   b. 28 August 1874 Dolgellau   d. ??

Tudor   b. 1 October 1878 Dolgellau   d. 15 September 1916 France   Married Florence Olive Portlock in Machynlleth in 1904. A Sapper in the 89th Field Coy. of the Royal Engineers, he was killed in action and is buried in Serre Road Cemetery No. 2 in France.

John Rathbone

Norah Anne   b. 19 September 1882 Dolgellau   d. ??

Griffith Norman   b. 1884 Dolgellau   d. 1934 Bridgend   Married Mary Jane Hughes in Llanwono on 8 August 1911.

Jorwerth Davies   b. 14 October 1886 Dolgellau   d. December 1909 “at sea”   Married Maggie Edwards in Stoke Newington on 13 September 1908.

Edmie Mary   b. 5 September 1888 Dolgellau   d. 1957 Carmarthen   Married David Jones in Llandilofaur in 1917.


John was a qualified Chartered Acoountant, and he married Mabel Florence Lanham in Winchester in 1909. Mabel was born in Southampton in 1885 and she passed away in Gosport in 1961.


The couple had 2 children before John went off to war, and the family lived at 54 Ascupart Street, St. Mary’s.

Leslie John   b. 1910 Netley   d. 1961 Southampton   Married Elfreda M. Snellgrove in Southampton in 1934.

Rita Florence   b. 1912 Southampton   d. ??   Married Edwin J. Wyatt in Southampton in 1935.


The Battalion landed at Boulogne at the end of July 1915 and took part in trench familiarization and training in the Fleurbaix area.


They were attached to the 61st Brigade in the 20th (Light) Division, and the division was used in a counter-attack against the enemy at Hill 62, known as the Battle of Mont Sorrel, in support of Canadian forces.

These actions finished on June 14 and it’s likely that John was badly wounded during the fighting.


The Cemetery was taken over (from the French) by Commonwealth forces in April 1915. It was used by fighting units and field ambulances until June 1917, when the land adjoining the cemetery was claimed for a military railway.

This prevented any further additions to the cemetery; it now contains 1175 Commonwealth WW1 burials.


John’s headstone reads: “To memory ever dear, in God’s good time we shall meet again.”



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 14th July 2016


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