Alfred Edmonds was born in Cradley but his military records indicate his surname as Edwards. His parents lived at Windmill Hill, Cradley, and he attended Cradley C of E school. He seems to have volunteered young and served in the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards in the Guards Division. They fought in the Third Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 and then took over the front line at Roeux, east of Arras in mid-February 1918. Expectations of a heavy German attack were high and several raids took place to discover the identity of the units occupying the enemy trenches. The German lines were well fortified but on the night of the 27-28th the 1st Coldstream carried out a successful raid, surprising their opponents and capturing 11 prisoners and a machine gun. There were no casualties until they returned to their own trenches. Reprisal shelling then killed three men, including Private Alfred Edmonds who died of wounds at a field ambulance unit. He was 19 years of age and is buried at Brown's Copse Cemetery, Rouex (IV C 43) and is commemorated on the Cradley, Halesowen and Cradley C of E school Memorials.
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