Edward was one of seven children born to Henry and Elizabeth Fewtrell, Crewe. The 1901 census shows the family living at 77 Ramsbottom Street, Crewe, Henry is working as a steam engine driver, by the time of the 1911 census Elizabeth had passed away and the family then lived at 93 Ramsbottom Street, Edward aged 13 who had been a former pupil at West Street Mixed School was now working as an errand boy. By 1914 he was a boiler maker at Crewe Works
Edward enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment on the 26th April 1915 in Macclesfield his declared age was 19 years 90 days, he was 5ft 3 ½ inches, weighing 144 lbs, he stayed in the UK for over a year until on the 27th September 1916 he embarked for France and on the 31st he was posted to the 9th Battalion.
He joined his unit early in October, on the 18th November the 9th Cheshire’s where in Zollern Trench just North East of Thiepval, Somme, France, at 5pm the battalion moved in artillery formation at a distance of 50 yards between lines with orders to deploy when they came to the crest of the hill just before reaching Stuff Trench. The War Diary continues, the going was very bad and before reaching the kicking off place thick fog came down, after reaching Stuff Trench direction was lost, it was impossible to pick up any landmarks, the mud was so deep and clinging, men were bogged down and could not pull themselves out, the whole attack swung off to the left. Many men here were lost in the darkness and the mud. During this attack Edward received a gunshot wound to his left hand, by the 21st November he was in hospital in Rouen, this wound would keep him there until the 30th December and on New Year’s Day 1917 he re-joined his unit.
Just 27 days later 27th Edward was wounded again he received a gunshot wound to the head possibly from a sniper the war diary for the day gives no evidence it reads, General trench routine, much artillery activity by both sides, general repairs were carried out to trench boards and dugouts, work is difficult in the frozen ground, attention was paid to wiring the advanced posts, making latrines, cleaning trenches and dugouts, one patrol went out from the front company, but gleamed no information. The following day Edward died from his wound.
Edward was the second son of Henry to fall, Thomas who was three years older had been killed in action on the 15th September 1916 just thirteen days before Edward had arrived in France.
Edward is buried at Couin New British Cemetery Grave Ref A.5 this cemetery was used by field ambulances from January 1917 after the one over the road from it was closed because further extensions to it were not possible.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Mark Potts for some of the information on Edward, the picture of Edwards grave taken by Cheshire County Memorial Project.