Kidderminster Arts Festival – Kidderminster’s WW1 Soldier Henry Harold Edwards (1886-1917)

Photo copyright Kidderminster Arts Festival

Photo copyright Kidderminster Arts Festival

The 2014 Kidderminster Arts Festival (www.kidderminsterartsfestival.org.uk) runs from 9th to 24th August 2014. This year’s Festival has a First World War theme and includes a temporary memorial to each of the 661 men from Kidderminster who lost their lives during WWI. Chalk outlines of each of the men have been drawn on the ground along Vicar Street in the town, each with a poppy representing his heart.

Henry Harold Edwards, known as Harry, was born in Kidderminster in 1886, the eldest son of Thomas, a carpet weaver, and Annie Edwards. After leaving school Harry joined the army and served for seven years before transferring to the reserve. Harry married Caroline Cropper in Cropthorne in 1913 and after their marriage, Harry and Caroline moved to Broadway where Harry worked as the village postman. Harry was an army reservist when war broke out in August 1914 and he joined the Worcestershire Regiment before later transferring to the Royal Engineers. Harry initially served on the Western Front but was posted to Mesopotamia with the Royal Engineers (3rd Indian Divisional Signal Company) and died, aged 30, on 25th March 1917. Harry is commemorated on the Basra Memorial in Iraq. He is also commemorated on the Kidderminster War Memorial and on the Broadway War Memorial.

Harry is one of 48 men commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial. Further information about Harry and his fellow men from Broadway commemorated on the memorial can be found in ‘Broadway Remembers’ (ISBN 978-0-9929891-0-1), a not-for-profit publication published to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by IWM. Proceeds to the Poppy Appeal. Broadway Remembers is also available to purchase from various shops in Broadway or from Broadway Tourist Information Centre (tel. 01386 852937).

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