Private Edward Vine

Date of Birth 7 March 1882
Age at Death 34
Date of Death 19 May 1915
Service Number CH 11679
Military Service Royal Marine Light Infantry
Merton Address 110 Boundary Road, Colliers Wood
Local Memorial Christ Church, Colliers Wood

Additional Information

Edward was born on 7 March 1882 in Henlow, Bedfordshire. His father Walter was a Miller’s Labourer, while his mother Anne was employed as a Straw Plaiter. Bedfordshire and the neighbouring counties were, since the beginning of the 17th century, the British home of the straw-plait industry. The couple had two elder children Arthur and John. Unfortunately, Edward’s mother Anne died in 1886, and later that same year Walter married Ellen Carter, a widow who was also a Straw Plaiter. Ellen had her own children, David, Clara and John. By the time of the 1891 census when Edward was ten years of age, the couple had two more children together – Ernest and Albert, and were living at 80 The High Street, Henlow. Over the coming years the family grew, with Emma, Joseph, Ellen, Wilfred, Samuel, Jessie, Victoria and Leslie joining the throng, although the 1911 Census reveals that three of Ellen’s twelve children had died.

Edward enlisted in London as a Private with the Royal Marines on 21 March 1900 for a twelve year length of service. The 1901 Census for Edward shows that he was in Barracks in Chatham, while the 1911 Census records him living at the Globe Inn, Kings Quay Street, Norwich as a boarder, together with thirteen other seamen. By 1912 Edward had completed his service and was discharged, but he immediately enrolled again with the Royal Fleet Reserve - Deal Battalion. The RFR was established to provide a reserve of trained men for service in His Majesty's Fleet in time of emergency.

On Boxing Day 26 December 1914, Edward married Ethel Dorothy Lear at Christ Church, Colliers Wood. Ellen, a Dressmaker, lived at 127 Boundary Road, Colliers Wood (then Mitcham). In 1915, the couple had a child named Doris.

As a regular soldier, Edward saw action very early on after the outbreak of WW1. In 1914 the Royal Navy found that it had more reservists than it needed to man its ships. It therefore formed the extra men and some Royal Marines into an infantry division. The Royal Marines Light Infantry arrived in Dunkirk on 20 September to assist in the defence of Antwerp (2 - 9 October 1914). This campaign was not successful, Antwerp fell into German hands, and Edward and the troops of the Royal Naval Division managed to return to England. As part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, the Deal Battalion was deployed to Egypt in February 1915. They sailed to Port Said, in March, moving on to Suez Canal defences at Kantara. By April they had landed at Anzac, Gallipoli to defend Shrapnel Gully. Edward’s Battalion may have been involved in the 2nd Battle of Krithia at Cape Helles (6-8 May 1915). Sadly, Edward was killed on 19 May 1915, and is commemorated at Helles Memorial, Turkey.

After the war in 1919, Edward’s wife Ethel received his War Medals while still living in Boundary Road. In 1924, she married Edward Elmore and died in 1996 aged 103.


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