Private

Edmund King Lewis

Conflict: 
WW1
Additional Information: 

Son of Thomas Levi Lewis and Emma Lewis, of Downington, Lechlade, Glos., England.

References:
  • CWGC
  • Archives New Zealand
NZ WAR GRAVES
CONTRIBUTED

Public Contributions:

Submitted by: Paul Cobb
Relationship to casualty: None - author ('Fromelles 1916' History Press) and Gt War historian. Live in Lewis' home village
"Edmund King Lewis was the son of Thomas Lewis and Emma Lewis, residents of Downington, Lechlade. We know more about him than most of the men from Lechlade as we have been able to obtain his ser... Read More
"Edmund King Lewis was the son of Thomas Lewis and Emma Lewis, residents of Downington, Lechlade. We know more about him than most of the men from Lechlade as we have been able to obtain his service papers from the archives of the New Zealand Defence Force. He was born on 24th October 1889 and had served for four years with the Royal Berkshire Regiment before leaving for New Zealand in 1914. His occupation there is given as a farmer and he was 5' 81/2" tall, weighed 9 stone 12lb, was of fair complexion, blue eyes and had light brown hair. He enlisted in the New Zealand forces on 10th October 1914 whilst living in the Wanganui area of New Zealand's North Island. As early as 5th August 1914 the NZ Military Forces had been mobilised and immediately they took steps to recruit so that a force of 8,000 men would be available; presumably Edmund King Lewis responded to this call to arms. He joined the Wellington Regiment (as 10/1279 Private Lewis) which formed part of the Wellington Military District which covered the southern half of the north island. His unit was commanded by Lt. Col W.G. Malone and they were in camp at Awapuni near Palmerston North from 13th August to 22nd September when they embarked on ships at Wellington; the original group did not leave Wellington until 14th October due to a possible threat from German warships. Lewis must, therefore, have been a reinforcement sent to Egypt as the NZ troops prepared for the operations in the Dardenelles, since he left New Zealand on 15th December 1914 and arrived in Suez on 28th January 1915. The unit war diary notes that the Wellington Regiment was defending the Suez Canal at this time against the Turks and their first reinforcements reached them on 1st February; presumably Lewis was amongst them. On 9th April the regiment went by train to Alexandria and sailed for Mudros on the island of Lemnos in the Aegean. Half the force landed on the peninsula on 25th April and the remainder the following day. They took possession of a location known as "Plugge's Plateau" but were later withdrawn and moved to "Walker's Ridge" and "Russell's Top". By the end of April the front line had settled down without great gains being made. The unit took part in a number of actions against the Turks until 11/12th May when they were relieved by the Manchester Regiment. Until 20th May these NZ troops were in bivouacs and not directly in the front line. According to their war diary, from time to time the bivouacs were shelled and stray bullets caused a few more casualties. Up to this date, the Wellington Regiment sustained the loss of 41 killed, 157 wounded, 24 missing and 24 evacuated with various illnesses, a total of 246. As Lewis' date of death is given as 16th May it would appear that he was the victim of "an occasional shell" or a stray bullet whilst in bivouacs. Oddly, though, a copy of Army Form B. 103 Casualty Form - Active Service obtained during this research states that he was "reported missing 16-5-15" and then on "22nd May body of above man buried in front of Turkish trenches, Dardenelles" and concludes "killed in action 16-5-15". Like so many known, marked graves from this campaign, his was lost and he is now commemorated on Twelve Tree Copse (New Zealand) Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula, one of four memorials to NZ missing of this campaign. His details can be found on panel 21, column 1, name 7. The Parish Magazine noted his death in its July edition:- "Much sympathy was also felt with Mrs. Lewis, of Downington, and her family, who heard on June 15th of the death of her second son, Edmund King Lewis, in the Wellington (N.Z.) Infantry, killed in action at the Dardanelles, where he had not been many weeks. Here too the mother and brother and sister, and their many friends, find comfort in the thought that a young life, pure and true, met a brave end in a noble cause." (Extract reproduced with permission "Lechlade and the Great War 1914-18" by Paul Cobb, published 1998)


Personal Tributes:

Casualty

Service Number: 
10/1279
Name:
Edmund King Lewis
Rank: 
Private
Date of Birth:
24 October 1889
Place of Birth:
Gloucestershire, Lechlade,
Next of Kin: 
Mrs E. Lewis (mother), Dowington, Lechdale, Gloucestershire, England
Date of Enlistment:
Not known
Enlistment Address: 
Wanganui, New Zealand
Occupation on Enlistment:
Farmer
Armed Force: 
Army
Unit:
NZEF, Wellington Regiment

Casualty Details

Cause of Death:
Killed in action
Date of Death:
16 May 1915
Day of Death:
Sunday
Age at Death: 
28
Conflict: 
WW1

Embarkation Details

Embarkation Body:
2nd Reinforcements
Embarkation Place:
Wellington, New Zealand
Embarkment Date:
14 December 1914
Transport:

HMNZT 13
HMNZT 14
HMNZT 15
Vessel:
Verdala or Willochra or Knight of the Garter
Destination:
Suez, Egypt

Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum

Cemetery

Cemetery Location: 
Turkey
Edmund King Lewis
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