1. Memorial:Ferme-Olivier CemeteryPanel 9
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.121
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour19A GQS
4. Grave:Ferme-Olivier CemeteryII. J. 3

Awards & Titles:

Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches x2
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Family :

Charles O'Reilly Edwards was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire on 8th December, 1882. After schooling, he attended the Cheltenham College before embarking on an army career with the Royal Engineers. He appears on the 1901 census as a "Gent Cadet", at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 57th Field Company 

Action : France & Flanders 

France & Flanders covers all the dates and corresponding locations which are outside the official battle nomenclature dates on the Western Front. Therefore the actions in which these men died could be considered 'normal' trench duty - the daily attrition losses which were an everyday fact of duty on the Western Front.

At the age of 19, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Engineers from Woolwich on 21st December 1901. He was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant 1st April 1904, and then Captain 21st December 1912. For his pre-WW1 years he was based at Chatham in Kent and did not serve overseas until war with Germany was declared.

His Field Company was renumbered as No.57, attached to the 3rd Infantry Division at Aldershot, Hampshire and he sailed for France with the leading elements of the British Expeditionary Force, landing by 14th August 1914. The unit was sent forward into Belgium and found itself in the Jemappes area, three miles from Mons on 22nd August, 1914. Heavily attacked, Captain Edwards & the other Officers & Sappers were tasked with the destruction of eight bridges over the Mons-Conde Canal. Corporal Jarvis & Captain Wright who would have been known to Charles, each earned a Victoria Cross for their heroism against almost impossible odds.

His medals were auctioned on eBay in 2018 selling for £1220. For his service he was in receipt of the Military Cross, 1914 (Mons) Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. He was also received two Mentions in Despatches.

Captain Edwards continued brave work through the battles of 1914 and the winter of 1914/15, most likely trying to keep trenches secure, organising wiring & defences. On 17th February, 1915, he received a Mention in Despatches (MiD) for "Distinguished Services" in the 1914 campaign by Field Marshal, Sir John French. Charles remained with the 57th Field Company in their move to 46th Division during April 1915, where on 22nd June, 1915 he received a second MiD for "Distinguished Services in the field" covering the period up until 1st June, 1915 again by Field Marshal, Sir John French.

He must have been carrying out some very dangerous work, as he was also one of the FIRST recipients of the MILITARY CROSS dated 23/6/1915 - ONE DAY after his second M.I.D. The Military Cross award was also noted for his 'Distinguished Service in the Field' which literally translated as Conspicuous Gallantry & Devotion to Duty in action with the enemy for the period up until 1/6/1915.

After the terrible fighting at Hooge on 30-31st July 1915, where German troops first used flamethrowers, Charles remained with the 57th Field Company in their move to 49th Division in August 1915. The unit rotated between the Ypres Salient, the Somme sectors. Whilst at the former it was then that Captain Edwards M.C was on operations, and during 13th December, 1915 he was Killed in Action.

He is interred at the Ferme-Olivier Cemetery, Elverdinghe, seven miles north of Ypres. He is commemorated on the Cheltenham War Memorial and on the Cheltenham College Memorial.

Detail :

Probate: Edwards Charles O'Reilly of Roseleigh West Hurlestame-road Cheltenham a captain in His Majesty's Royal Engineers died 13 December 1915 in France killed in action Administration Gloucester 2 February to Anthony O'Reilly Edwards esquire. Effects £275 7s. 9d.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Pentangle No. 1174 E.C.East Kent

8th December 1911
12th January 1912
9th February 1912

Charles is listed as having been initiated into Pentangle Lodge, No. 1174 at Chatham in 1911. He is listed as being resident in Chatham and employed as a Lieutenant, Royal Engineers. The annotation in the contribution record shows that he paid his dues all the way up to the time of his death, that being recorded as "Killed in Action 15th Dec 1915," two days after the official record.

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-02-08 07:22:12