Francis Henry William Thomas Winifred Brownrigg Peter Welsh Thomson Margaret Jean Caldow /Hodsdon Frederick Edward Senior James Roger Francis Wyman Clark Richard Robertson Patricia Mae Mulligan Joachim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Syd" Sydney EDWARDS

Born 16 August 1884 in North Adelaide, South Australia [55]
Son of Harry EDWARDS and "Bessie" Elizabeth Ann Ellery COLLINS [55]
His father passed away at the age of 34 years in 1893 and in 1896 his mother married David WISE [55]
     He probably shifted to Western Australia with his mother in March 1897 when she moved to join her husband [258: 22-Aug-1905]
     Helped financially support his mother after his stepfather stopped upon shifting to Kalgoorlie for work in 1902 [258]
     His mother petitioned for a divorce on the grounds of desertion and adultery in 1905 and it was granted in 1906 [225: 5-Mar-1906] [258]
     In 1907 in Perth his mother was married for the third time to John Isaac RUNDLE [66]
Stockman for his uncle John COLLINS on Collinsville Station in Mount Bryan, South Australia [235: 17-Aug-1918] [427: 28-Aug-1918]
     He splintered his left collarbone after being thrown heavily while riding a horse bareback in late 1910 [235: 14-Dec-1910] [427: 7-Dec-1910]
Contract Clearer and Farm Manager in Carnamah, Western Australia [34]
     He and David LOW did contract clearing of 110 acres on H. Randolph CHRISTIE's farm in Carnamah in 1914 [34]
     Farm Manager for H. Randolph CHRISTIE of Felton Mains and Kilmaurs Farms in Carnamah in 1914 and 1915 [34]
     The two farms were jointly 1,016 acres of land and consisted of Lots M953 and M1057 of Victoria Locations 1934 and 1936 [27]
     Both properties were Ready-Made Farms and had been purchased by his employer from the Midland Railway Company [34]
Resided in Carnamah until voluntarily enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in Moora on 29 April 1915 [9: 7-May-1915] [30: item 1935926]
     He was almost 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighed 147 pounds and has grew eyes, light brown hair and a sallow complexion [30]
     Gave his next of kin as his mother Mrs Elizabeth RUNDLE of 89 Woolwich Street in the Perth suburb of West Leederville [30]
     He was one of the men the Anglican Church in Moora prayed for at their Empire Sunday Church Service in May 1915 [9: 28-May-1915]
     After brief training at Blackboy Hill he was appointed on 14 June 1915 to the 7th Reinforcements of the 11th Battalion [30]
     Embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia for active service abroad on the H.M.A.T. A63 Karoola on 25 June 1915 [30]
     After another brief stint of training he Egypt he embarked from Alexandria on the Berrima on 31 July 1915 [30]
     Private 2364 in the 11th Battalaion on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey during August and September of 1915 [30]
     He was taken from Gallipoli by hospital ship on 17 September 1915 suffering from constipation, fever and influenza [30]
     After treatment at Saint George's Hospital in Malta he embarked for the Greek Island of Lemnos on 15 November 1915 [30]
     Rejoined his unit on 28 December 1915 at Tel-el-Kabir in Egypt and was transferred to the 51st Battalion on 1 March 1916 [30]
     He was promoted to Corporal on 15 March 1916 and to Company Quartermaster-Sergeant on 21 March 1916 [30]
     Embarked from Alexandria, Egypt on 5 June 1916 and disembarked in Marseilles, France on 12 June 1916 [30]
     Company Quartermaster-Sergeant 3264 in the Australian Imperial Force's 51st Battalion in France for less than three months [30]
     He was captured by German forces in the Battle of Monquet Farm with a gunshot wound to his left thigh on 3 September 1916 [30]
     Initially reported as "missing" he managed to advise a relative or friend in Cardiff that he was a Prisoner of War in Germany [30]
     A message was sent to his mother in Perth, who was then terribly distressed as she hadn't received any official word [30]
     The matter went as high as the Prime Minister's office in Australia and it was eventually confirmed he was a Prisoner of War [30]
     He was interned at various camps in Germany but escaped and on 10 May 1918 made it to freedom in Switzerland [30]
     At the time he was the first Australian prisoner of war to succeed in making it to Switzerland [235: 17-Aug-1918]
     After arriving in England he was transferred to the Records Section of the A.I.F. Headquarters in London, England [30]
     He served only temporarily in England as orders were given for his return to Australia as an escaped Prisoner of War [30]
     Embarked on his return home on the steamship Barunga, which was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean [427: 27-Nov-1918]
     He was among the survivors of the torpedoed ship and was taken to America and then back to England [427: 27-Nov-1918]
     After a second and successful voyage, he disembarked in Fremantle and was discharged on 4 December 1918 [30]
     From 5 December 1918 the Australian Imperial Force granted him a fortnightly pension of 71 shillings (or £3/11/-) [30]
     He was later awarded the Military Medal for "gallant conduct and determination displayed in escaping... captivity" [30]
     His name appeared on a Roll of Honour for the Moora district, which was prepared by Rev. Frederick W. GUNNING [10: 1-Sep-1916]
Upon arriving back in Western Australia he planned to see his mother and then shift back to South Australia [427: 27-Nov-1918]
Married Emma Agnes BEECHEY in Perth in 1919 [66]
In 1921 he was the manager of his uncle's Collinsville Station in Mount Bryan, South Australia [427: 19-Jan-1921]
     Merino rams from his uncle's Collinsville Stud were later bred on farms at his former home of Carnamah, Western Australia [4] [5]
     William A. T. SARGENT of Carnamah created his own Collinsville Stud known as Wongyarra in 1929 [4: 1-Feb-1930] [120: 15-Oct-1936]
     Gus LIEBE of Waddy Forest, one of the largest farmers in the world, imported Collinsville rams to WA each year [5: 15-Dec-1933]
Farmer & Grazier of St. Albans Farm in Kojonup, Western Australia [80: 28-Oct-1925] [371: 4-Feb-1925]
     He initially farmed the property in partnership with R. Malcolm EWEN trading as "Ewen & Edwards" [371: 4-Feb-1925]
     They had a registered horse and cattle firebrand of 3GE [80: 28-Oct-1925]
     He carried on with the farm on his own after he and EWEN dissolved their partnership from 27 September 1923 [371: 4-Feb-1925]
     Farmer of Collinsvale Farm in Kojonup, Western Australia [50]
Resided in Kojonup until at least 1949 and later resided for many years at Emu Point in Albany, Western Australia [50]
Father of Patricia, Joy and Hilda [39: 9-Aug-1946] [55]
Died 23 February 1968; buried at the Allambie Park Cemetery in Albany, Western Australia (A-Anglican, Plot 373) [359]

From The Sunday Times newspaper, Sunday 2 June 1918:
Perth Prattle
"There was a happy woman at West Leederville last week in the person of Mrs J. Rundle. She received word by cable that her only son, Sydney Edwards, long a prisoner in Germany, was safe in Switzerland."

From The Burra Record newspaper, Wednesday 27 November 1918:
Our Boys at the Front
"Q.M.S. Sid Edwards, in a letter to his uncle, Mr John Collins, Collinsville, hopes shortly to be in South Australia. Sgt Edwards was for two years a prisoner of war in Germany and escaped to Switzerland, finally reaching England. He was being sent home to Australia on the ill-fated "Barunga" which was torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean. He, with other survivors, was landed in America and then sent back to England. Nothing more was heard of him until he arrived in Western Australia on Nov. 6th. He was in quarantine when he wrote, but was disembarking at Fremantle as his mother was there. When he left Germany he was a little over 9 stone in weight. He is now 12½ stone and nearby back to his former condition."

From the Fourth Supplement No. 31759 of The London Gazette, 30 January 1920:
Awarded the Military Medal
"His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the above reward in recognition of gallant conduct and determination displayed in escaping, or attempting to escape, from captivity, which services has been brought to notice in accordance with the terms of Army Order 193 of 1919. To be dated 5th May, 1919:- No. 2364 Company Quartermaster-Sergeant S. Edwards."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Sydney Edwards' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 13 June 2024 from [reference list]

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