Eadon, George Edmund. Died 1st Jul 1916

Based on the CWGC record, G E Eadon served with the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, with the rank of Private, and the number 13066.

This was most probably George Edmund Eadon who was born at Napton on the Hill, Warwickshire in about 1872, and baptised there on 29 September 1872.

In 1891, George was a ‘brickyard labourer’ in Napton, living with the family at Butt Hill; his father was a labourer. His marriage was registered in Q3, 1894 in Southam, and his wife, Clara, née Chater, Eadon, had also been born at Napton, and was two years younger than him. Their first three children were all born in Napton, and by 1901, the family had recently moved to 104 Lower Street, Hillmorton, where George was a general labourer. They moved back to Napton, where their fourth child was born in about 1904. In 1911 they were living at The Poplars, Napton On Hill, Rugby and George was working as a ‘Brick & Tile Maker’. They now had four children: George Edmund Eadon, 15, – baptised on 9 June 1895 – working as a ‘Brick and Tile Maker Labourer’; Annie Louisa Emily Eadon, 13, who was in ‘Service’; Helena Mary Eadon, 12; and Percy Alfred Eadon, 7.

George enlisted into the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment as Private, No.13066. The exact date of his enlistment is not known, as no Service Record survives, but his number suggests that it was soon after war was declared.

The Pension Records for his son do survive. George [junior] also enlisted in the Warwickshire Regiment, probably soon after his father, at Rugby, on 19 September 1914, as No:7780 changed to No:13675. However, he was discharged after 75 days on 2 December 1914 under Paragraph 392 of King’s Regulations 1912, Clause (iii) c. ‘Not being likely to become an efficient soldier’ and being considered ‘unfit for service’. He may have been [just] under age.

 George [senior’s] 1st Battalion had arrived back from India in early January 1913 and were initially based at Shorncliffe, near Folkestone. On 8 August 1914, amid fears of a German invasion of the East coast, they were sent by train to Yorkshire. Almost immediately this fear was seen to be unfounded and they were sent back to join other units of the 10th Brigade, 4th Division of the BEF at Southampton. There they boarded the SS Caledonian on 22 August 1914 and landed at Boulogne in France the following day.

George would have undergone training in UK, and did not arrive in France until 27 December 1915. The 1st Warwickshires had been involved in the Battle of Bellewaarde, at the end of the 1st Battle of Ypres, much earlier that year on 24-25 May 1915.   They were not involved in any major actions until the Battle of Albert, at the opening of the Battle of the Somme between 1-13 July 1916.

 The account below of the likely final days of George’s service is edited from The Story of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment:[1]

The British attack on July 1, 1916, extended from Gommecourt to Maricourt, where the French Sixth Army, which lay astride the Somme, was to take it up. At the north of the British line was the Seventh Corps, and next it on the south was the Eighth Corps, under General Hunter-Weston, which included the 48th and 4th Divisions, with the four Warwickshire Territorial battalions in the 143rd Brigade, and the 1st Royal Warwickshire in the 10th Brigade. Its line faced Serre and Beaumont Hamel. East from Albert, in the Fifteenth Corps, the 7th Division with the 2nd Royal Warwickshire lay before Mametz. The enterprise in each region had its special character, and in effect there were two independent actions, one in the north, which failed, and the other in the south, which succeeded.

In the last week of June there was an intense bombardment of the German lines, whilst the 1st Royal Warwickshire … held the whole trenches of their division from June 19 to 26. Twice during that time poison gas was launched against the enemy; but owing to a change of wind the gas blew back over our own trenches and caused some casualties to our own men. … In the Royal Warwickshire the casualties during this week were heavy – 6 officers and 200 other ranks. Consequently when the day came the battalion, was very weak.

Further south the 10th Brigade had moved forward at nine o’clock, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and Seaforth Highlanders leading with the Royal Warwickshire and Royal Irish Fusiliers in support. The Royal Warwickshire advanced as far as the Tenderloin trench, where they remained throughout the morning in an exposed position. Early in the afternoon a party under Lieut. R. R. Waters made a gallant attempt to seize a German strong point, but were met with such intense machine-gun fire from Beaumont Hamel that they were forced to return. At evening it was clear that the attack in this quarter had failed, and the troops were recalled to their own trenches. The tale of their casualties is the best proof of their heroism. In the 1st Battalion the casualties were 61 other ranks; … In the northern region the 5th and 7th Royal Warwickshire remained in the front trenches till July 4, and the 1st Battalion was not withdrawn till three days later. Shortly afterwards the 4th Division was moved to Ypres, and it was over two months before it returned to the Somme.

 George was ‘Killed in Action’ aged about 43, sometime during the attack on the 1 July 1916, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

His body was recovered and he is buried in Grave Reference: I. D. 83. in the Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, probably fairly close to where he was in action.

 Colincamps is a village about 16 kilometres north of Albert. Sucrerie Military Cemetery is about 3 kilometres south-east of the village on the north side of the road from Mailly-Maillet to Puisieux. The cemetery is on the left; along a 400 metres dirt track. The cemetery was begun by French troops in the early summer of 1915, and extended to the West by British units from July in that year until, with intervals, December 1918. It was called at first the 10th Brigade Cemetery. Until the German retreat in March 1917, it was never more than a 1.6 kilometres from the front line; and from the end of March 1918 to the following August, it was under fire.

George was awarded the 1915 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The claim for his medals was submitted ‘… by Miss Irwin on behalf of Mrs G Eadon in respect of the late Pve. G E Eadon. 5/4/19.’ ‘The Lodge, Southam, Warwickshire.’

 George is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; he is also named on the war memorial at Napton on the Hill.




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This article on George Edmund Eadon was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, June 2016.

[1]       Edited from: Charles Lethbridge Kingsford, The Story of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Formerly the Sixth Foot) 1674 to 1920, pp.148-158, Chapter XX, The Great War: The Battle Of The Somme, 1916, at http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/8768-royal-warwickshire-regiment/

4th Mar 1916. Lighting Regulations



The attention of the President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries have been drawn to the possibility of farmers, and shepherds, by carrying lights at night when attending stock, rendering themselves liable to prosecution under the Lighting Regulations at present in force. Lord Selborne has been in communication with the Home Office, and is advised that the sole requirement is that such lights must be properly screened. The use of any particular pattern of lamp is not necessary. One simple arrangement which has been adopted is to place the light in a biscuit tin with straight sides.


Emma Sowerbutt, draper, 41 Albert Street, Rugby, and Charles William Jolley, wardrobe dealer, 121 Railway Terrace, Rugby, were summoned under the Lights Order for not reducing or shading lights on February 19th. Peter Dryden, laundryman, 54 James Street, Rugby, was summoned for not screening three skylights in his laundry in Pinder’s Lane on February 23, and George Henry Waugh, medical practitioner, 93 Albert Street, Rugby, was summoned for not screening a window on February 23rd.

Mr Harold Eaden defended Dryden, who pleaded not guilty.

P.O Percival stated that he noticed that three skylights in defendant’s laundry were showing very brilliant lights into the sky. He went inside and pointed out to defendant that the lights were not shaded, and he replied that he had shaded them with brown paper but it had fallen off. One skylight was half covered with paper, but there was no sign of any shading on the other. The rooms were lighted by incandescent gas lamps.—By Mr Eaden: It was not a fact that it was a windy night, and that defendant told him the wind had blown the paper off.—The Chairman: That is no defence, you know.—Witness said there was no evidence of paper having been tacked on to the skylight, and there was no ricksheet over another.—Inspector Lines corroborated, and said he saw something flapping up and down on a skylight in the back room, and there were sheets of paper hanging down from the other skylights. He had warned defendant three times previously about unshaded windows, and his house at night was like a searchlight.—Mr Eaden then withdrew the plea of not guilty, and pleaded guilty. He pointed out that defendant s position was a difficult one, because he carried on a trade under which he was strictly bound down by the Factory Act. In the ironing of clothes in a damp state a considerable quantity of steam naturally arose, and under the Factory Act he was required to have sufficient ventilation in the roof. If he carried on his business at night, the only ventilation he could got was through the skylight, and if this was closed it would be impossible for anyone to remain in the room with a due regard to their health. Defendant was thus between the devil and the deep sea ; he had either to close down his business or, according to the evidence, he had to commit an offence. On the evening in question the skylight was opened a few inches, and was blown off its hinges by the wind. A tarpaulin sheet was put over the skylight in another room.—The Chairman told defendant he had taken very little trouble to reduce his lights, and he was fined £3.

Mr H Lupton Reddish represented Dr Waugh, and pleaded guilty.—Sergt Percival said at 8.40 p.m. on the day named he saw a bright light shining from an upstairs bay window at defendant’s house, the Venetian blinds being either broken; or not properly drawn.—By Mr Reddish: The light was not put out while the police remained near.—Inspector Lines said the light was shining across the street on to a building opposite.—For the defence, Mr Reddish said Dr Waugh told his boy to light the gas and pull the blind down in the front drawing room, but apparently the laths did not fall into their proper place. When attention was called to the matter it was attended to.—Sergt Percival said he had warned defendant about the lights at his house on three previous occasions.—A fine of £3 was imposed.

Jolley pleaded not guilty.—P.S Percival said there was a brilliant light on to the footpath through the doorway of defendant’s shop.—Inspector Lines corroborated, and said there was also a light from the window.—Defendant, who had been previously cautioned, said he had only been in the shop a fortnight.—Fined £1.

Mr Eaden appeared for Mrs Sowerbutt, and pleaded not guilty.—P.S Percival said there was an unshaded electric light in each side of the window. The front blind was drawn, but not those at the side.—By Mr Eaden: The lamps inside the shop were effectively screened, but there were no articles of clothing to obscure the lights complained of.—Insp Lines said the naked lights could be distinctly seen from the street. He had previously called Mrs Sowerbutt’s attention to the side lights and blinds.—Mr Eaden said there was evidence that his client had made serious attempts to comply with the order, and on this particular night, immediately before the police arrived, a lady purchased a blouse, which was obscuring the light.—He called Frances Isom, domestic servant in Mrs Sowerbutt’s employ, who saw there was “ just a little light shining on the step,” thrown there by a light two feet from the window and near the ceiling. She informed her mistress, who was going to see to it just as the police came in.—Mr Eaden put in a sketch showing the alleged position of the lights, which was disputed by the police.—The Chairman said the Bench proposed not to give their verdict till next Tuesday, and as the magistrate went home those able would call at the shop, and, in company with Insp Lines, would investigate the matter.

William Gibbs, apprentice, 22 Warwick Street, Rugby, was summoned for riding a bicycle without front or rear lights at Rugby on February 15th.—Pleaded guilty.— P.C Lovell said the offence was committed at 6.10 p.m ; he pointed out to defendant that lighting-up time was 5.40 p.m under the new Act, but the man persisted that this was not so.—The defendant said his diary gave lighting-up time at 6.12, and the Chairman informed him that it was evidently out of date, and would have to get a new one. He would be fined 3s.

IRREGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.—Charles T A Taylor, bricklayer, 8 Bridle Road, New Bilton (3 cases), William Peers, labourer, 20 New Street, New Bilton, and Louisa Burbery, 26 New Street, New Bilton, were summoned by John Gilbert Satchell, school attendance officer, Rugby, for neglecting to send their children to school. Samuel Watson, labourer, Brinklow, was summoned by Arthur J Poxon, of Wolston, for a similar offence,—Mrs Watson pleaded guilty, and the officer said the child had only made 87 attendances out of a possible 212.—The excuse was that the child suffered from headaches due to defective eyesight.—Fined 2s 6d. Mrs Taylor admitted the offence respecting her three children, and the officer said the attendances had been 72, 73, and 79 respectively, out of a possible 86.—In one case defendant was fined 5s, and the other cases were adjourned. Mrs Burbery pleaded guitly, her boy having made 55 attendances out of 76. She said her boy was not well.—Fined 2s 6d. Mrs Peers pleaded guilty.—There was a previous conviction. The excuse was that the child was delicate.—Fined 5s.

CURTAILED HOURS AT POST OFFICE.—On and after Monday, March 13, Rugby Post Office and town sub-offices will be open on week-days for postal business from 9 a.m to 7 p.m only.

The Rugby Building Trades Federation have this week approached the employers with a request for an all-round advance of 1½ d per hour, urging in support of the decreased purchasing power of wages, and the fact that operative builders in other towns have received advances.


It has been definitely decided to provide a motor ambulance from the proceeds of the British Farmers’ Red Cross sale held at Rugby on Boxing Day. The vehicle will bear the name “ Rugby District Farmers’ Red Cross Ambulance,” and it will be on view at the Cattle Market on Monday next from 9 a.m. A ceremony of dedication will take place at 12 noon.


Twenty-one single men attested at Rugby on March 1, the last day for voluntary enlistment. During the last few days, a fair number of men presented the themselves, but there is still a considerable number in the district who have waited to be fetched.

The local conscripts have been warned to join the colours, and the first batch is due on March 9th. Married men can transfer from the reserve to any units which are open, but single men can only join infantry regiments.


Mr E C Eadon, eldest son of Mr W Eadon, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has joined the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company.


The Press Association is authoritatively informed that proclamations will be posted during the week-end calling the first of the married groups to the Colours. Eight groups—25 to 32 inclusive—are summoned in this call. The proclamations are dated March 7, and state that the groups will commence to be called up from April 7. The men affected by this call are those between 19 and 26 years of age. It is understood that the call for these groups is partly due to improved War Office arrangements for handling recruits, and partly owing to the largo number of temporary exemptions which have been given during the last few weeks. It is stated unofficially that the remainder of the married groups will be called upon within a short time, and that all married men, except those who obtain exemptions, will be serving long before autumn.



PARIS : Friday.—A semi-official review says:The battle of Verdun was renewed yesterday. The losses of the enemy who is attacking on ground broken up and already covered with bodies, have been enormous. As in the former attacks, the enemy has nowhere gained a footing in our trenches. It is with absolute confidence that the issue of the German blow on Verdun may be awaited. The first phase of the battle failed, and the second will meet with no better success.



20th Feb 1915. Court Martial but No Spies in Rugby


A district military court martial was held at Rugby Police Station on Friday last week.


Lance-Corpl Edward Wharton, of one of the departmental corps stationed at Rugby, was charged under section 15 of the Army Act with being absent without leave while on active service, at Rugby, on the 6th to 8th February.-Mr Harold Eaden, solicitor, Rugby, appeared for Wharton, who pleaded guilty.-The evidence for the prosecution was that the prisoner failed to present himself for duty on the days in question, as instructed to do so by orders left at his billet, and to feed and water his horse. He was arrested on the 8th inst.

In mitigation of the offence, Mr Eaden pointed out that the man only enlisted in January last, and had not a thorough knowledge of military discipline. He had a wife and four children. The former was in a deplorable state of health, and was not expected to live. Accused had received a letter from his wife, in which she stated that she had had a very bad heart attack, and her health was so bad that she had been compelled to sell the business in which he had established her before leaving. In consequence of this letter he went to see his parents on Saturday to make arrangements for them to look after her and the children. As his duties were those of a groom, he did not think there was any harm in going away if he arranged for his work to be carried out by someone else, and he actually paid another man to do the work. He did not receive the orders from his officer which were left at his billet, otherwise he would not have gone. The man voluntarily presented himself before his officer at nine o’clock on the Monday morning. Under the circumstances, he asked them to deal leniently with the accused.

During the reading of the wife’s letter accused burst into tears.

Evidence of character was given by an officer under whom accused worked, who stated that he bore a good character and had shown particular keenness in looking after several of the horses which were sick, and had turned out at nights to look after them.

The prosecuting officer having put in a statement of accused’s character, the room was cleared for the court to consider the verdict, which will be made known in due course.


Pte E Grimley, “ C ” Company, of the English Regiment, stationed in the town, pleaded not guilty to two charges, i.e, to disobeying the command of a superior officer, Sergt Norman, by not marching off when told to do so and with offering violence to a superior officer while under escort by attempting to strike Sergt John David Ronald.

Sergt Norman gave evidence to the effect that on the 4th inst., at 11 p.m. “ C ” Company of his regiment were on a route march, and orders were given to them to cross a fence and re-organise in the meadow at the other wide. He noticed accused was working very slackly, and he told him to fall in. He stood on one side at first, but eventually did so. They then received the order to march off, and the platoon did so, but accused stood still, and repeatedly stated that he was not going to do any more. Witness then reported the offence.

Accused stated that he did not refuse to march. He only marched slowly.-Witness related that Grimley stood still, and said, “ I am not going to do any more.”

Corpl Weston stated that he was ordered by the Company Sergeant-Major to take charge of accused under escort, but he did not know for what reason. He gave the order, “ Quick march!” but accused took no notice. Alter two minutes and the second order he moved off. On reaching the centre of the town accused commenced to struggle with the escort, and Sergt Ronald, seeing this, came back with two more men. In the struggle the accused struck out at Sergt Ronald, and had the latter not got out of the way he would have received the blow.- Accused asked : “Was my arm free when the escort had hold of me ?,” Witness : You wrenched your right arm free in the struggle.- Q : How could I hit a a man who was behind two others marching out ? -A : You struggled towards Sergt Ronald.

Sergt Ronald stated that he saw the accused struggling with his escort, and he went back with two men. Accused wrenched his right arm free, and attempted to strike witness on the face, but he avoided the blow by raising his right arm.

In defence, the accused said that he did not hear the order given by Sergt Norman to march off. Sergt Norman told him he would have to go to the guard-room, and accused answered: “ You can put me there now, as if I am going to the guard-room I am not going to do the route march.” He had no intention of striking at Sergt Ronald.

The company officer gave evidence as to the accused’s character. He had known Grimley for about three years. He was a very good soldier, but suffered from a bad temper.-The court then proceeded to consider their finding.

Two cases of desertion also came up for hearing.



The CHAIRMAN said the Brigadier in command of the troops in Rugby had called upon him to express his thanks to the Council for the excellent arrangements made as regarded billeting, and help afforded to him and his officers in various ways. He also desired particularly to thank the townspeople for the very kind and hospitable way they had welcomed the soldiers and made them as comfortable us they possibly could. He (the Chairman) told him they were only too anxious in Rugby to do all they could for the soldiers, who they were pleased to find to be such a respectable, well-behaved body of men.


The General Purposes Committee reported that they had considered the notice issued by the Chief Constable of the county respecting precautionary steps to be taken in the event of an air raid by an enemy of the country, and had arranged with the works manager of the B.T.H Co, Ltd, for the company, on receiving information from the police of an impending air raid, to give a distinctive signal on the works hooter. The signal proposed is 10 blasts on the hooter, each lasting three seconds, with three seconds intervals ; the whole period of the signal being one minute. The committee was considering with the manager of the Gas Company the policy of reducing the number of street lamps lighted and darkening the tops of the remaining lanterns. The committee desired to record their thanks to the police authorities and the management of the B.T.H Company for their ready co-operation.

The CHAIRMAN moved the adoption of this report, and said the reason that the B.T.H was chosen was that there was someone there night and day. Ten blasts on that hooter would arouse Rugby.-Mr SHILLITOE enquired if these directions would be printed for the benefit of general public. The CHAIRMAN answered that there was to be another meeting of the committee, and he supposed they would decide to advertise it.-Mr WISE thought it would be a good idea to have a test alarm to if the people noticed it (laughter).-Mr YATES asked what the people were to do. Were they to go out to look for the aircraft.-the CHAIRMAN thought it was a matter of common sense. They should go into the basement if they had one, or at any rate stop in the house and put the lights out. These directions would be inserted in the notice.-Mr NEWMAN enquired as to the B.T.H Works, with regard to the reduction of light. Their lights could be seen for a very long distance, and he asked if they would reduce theirs also.-The Clerk replied in the affirmative, and said they would immediately vacate the whole of the premises, with the exception of the Fire Station.



The Secretary of the Admiralty has made the following announcement:-

Information has been received that two persons, posing as an officer and sergeant, and dressed in khaki, are going about the country attempting to visit military works, &c.

They were last seen in the Midlands on the 6th inst., when they effected an entry into the works of a firm who are doing engineers’ work for the Admiralty. They made certain enquiries as to the presence or otherwise of anti-aircraft guns, which makes it probable that they are foreign agents in disguise.

All contractors engaged on work for his Majesty’s Navy are notified, with a view to the apprehension of these individuals, and are advised that no persons should be admitted to their works unless notice has been received beforehand of their coming.

A rumour current in the town that access was obtained at one of the Rugby Works is, we are officially informed, quite untrue.


Mr L W Eadon, son of Mr W Eadon, Hillmorton Road, has enlisted as a gunner in “ A ” Battery, Reserve Battalion of the H.A.C.

The Pipers’ Band of the Scottish Regiment, with drums, by kind permission of the Commanding Officer paraded in the School Close on Monday afternoon, and played several marches and national airs to the delight of a large number of members and friends of the School.

Corpl A J Harris has been promoted owing to the services he has rendered at the front as a motor-cycle dispatch rider, to second-lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. He had the honour of being mentioned in the dispatches from General French published on Thursday last. He is now stationed at Fenny Stratford. It will be remembered that he gained his colours as a half-back in the Rugby School Football XV, and afterwards played regularly for the Rugby Club.

Pte J Bonnick, A.S.C, of Wellesbourne, who, as we announced last week had been reported killed at the front on December 2nd, has wired to his wife that he is quite well.


Sir John French’s despatch, published on February 18th, includes the names of two old pupils of St Matthew’s Boys’ School recommended for gallant and distinguished service in the field, viz: Sergt-Major John W Goddard, of the Royal Field Artillery, eldest son of Mr J Goddard, a former gymnastic instructor at Rugby School, and Corpl (now Lieut) A J Harris, of the Royal Engineers, formerly a member of Rugby School Officers’ Training Corps, son of Mr A Harris, Dunchurch Road.

In addition to being mentioned in despatches by Sir John French, Sergt-Major J W Goddard is included in the list published yesterday (Friday) of those on whom the King has bestowed the Military Cross.


We much regret that owing to the shortness of time given by the War Office for preparing “Ashlawn” as a hospital it has been impossible to acknowledge all the kind gifts which were sent during the first few weeks for the equipment of this hospital.

In future we hope to acknowledge the weekly gifts in this paper, which are greatly appreciated by the patients. We take this opportunity of thanking all who have been good enough to send gifts.

Many people have also very kindly lent their cars for conveying patients to and from, and also for the use of the hospital.


Recruiting still continues very slack at Rugby, only eight having been attested this week. They are :-R.W.R : J G Beasley and H S Mason. Hants Regiment : T Colledge and F H Spiers. R.A.M.C : F H D Moore, A P Webb, C Cook, and J H Wakelin.

We are informed that there are 16 regiments of Infantry which are open to men of a minimum height of 5ft 1in, but the chest standard of 34 1/2ins remains unaltered.