Edwin Pike (17th May 1881 – 19th December 1914)

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Edwin was the son of Albert PIKE and Ann GIBBONS he born on the 17th May 1881 and baptised at the local Primitive Methodist chapel on the 15th July 1881[1].

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Primitive Methodist Chapel, Swampton, St Mary Bourne[2]

On the 5th April 1891 Edwin was living in St Mary Bourne with his parents, older brother Herbert and younger brother James.

In late 1899/early 1900 Edwin joined the 1st Hampshire Regiment, he went on to serve in the Second Boer War. Despite joining the 1st Hants, Edwin was sent to South Africa and served initially alongside the 2nd Hants.  His medal card[3] for the Queens South Africa medal shows that he was awarded the medal with the following clasps (the dates next to them show that to have been awarded them he must have served within those dates).

  • TRANSVAAL – 24 May 1900 and 31 May 1902
  • SOUTH AFRICA 1901 – Awarded to those not eligible for the King’s Medal although they had served at the front between 1 January and 31 December 1901.
  • SOUTH AFRICA 1902 – Awarded to those not eligible for the King’s Medal although they had served at the front between 1 January and 31 May 1902.

Between 1902 and 1904 Edwin was with the 1st Hants serving in Somaliland.  His medal card[4] for the African General Service medal shows that he was awarded the medal with the Somaliland (1902-1904) and Jidballi clasps.

It is unknown when Edwin left the Army but likely sometime after 1905 when he would have joined the reserves.  He is next found in the records on the 3rd June 1909 when he is employed by the London and South Western Railway[5] (L&SWR) at Wimbledon Park Station.  Edwin continues working for the L&SWR until the beginning of August 1914 when an entry on in the pay book for the 8th August 1914 states “Called up – Army Reserve”.

On the 31st August 1914[6], Edwin landed in France, he then joined the rest of the 1st Hants with the first reinforcements arriving in GRAITZ near JOSSIGNY, France during the afternoon of the 5th September 1914 along with 51 other ranks and Capt. R.D. Johnston.  Edwin joined ‘D’ company when he arrived.

Edwin continued to serve with his regiment in France and Belgium until the 19th December 1914 when sadly his was killed in action.  How he died though is unclear, unlike some who have been shot by snipers for Edwin this is unlikely. On the day of his death ‘D’ Company were involved in an attack of the German Birdcage on the edge of Ploegsteert Wood.  During the day of the attack British Artillery fire fell short and did land on their own trenches.  So it is possible that Edwin’s death was from what we today may call “friendly fire”, or it could have been from returning German fire.  Today we are unlikely to find out a definitive answer but clearly it is a possibility and more information is available in my post  “1st Hampshire Regiment – December 1914”.  Edwin was buried at the Lancashire Cottage Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.


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Photo of Edwin’s headstone curtesy of Phil North (taken 23rd Nov 2014)

ANOTHER – Out of a total of three fatalities from the local Roll of Honour.  Lower Rank now owns the loss of two brave sons.  The latest on the list is that of Pte. Edwin Pike, of D Co. 1st Hants, of whom news has just been officially received as having been killed in action on Dec. 19.  He is the third son of the late Albert Pike and of Mrs. Pike, and was called up in August after having served about 10 years on reserve, previous to which he had taken part in the Boer War.  His brother James, of the same regiment, has just recovered from wounds which necessitated his entry into hospital.  The deceased last letter, which bore the Censor’s date stamp Dec. 17, mentioned that he had seen Jim two or three days ago when they were both alright.  Edwin, who used to work locally some years ago, had latterly been a porter at Templecombe, and had also worked at Wimbledon.  It seems a very strange coincidence that all three St. Mary Bourne deceased warriors should be in the same regiment.  Our sympathies go with Mrs. Pike in her severe loss.

Quote from the St Mary Bourne section of the local newspaper[7]

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Edwin Pike’s medals (see note below re. Edwin Pike’s Medals and other items)
Top Row (Victory Medal, British War Medal, Queens South Africa Medal)
Bottom Row (1914 Star, Africa General Service Medal).

For his King and Country Edwin was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal in addition to his earlier medals from the Second Boer War.  His family were also sent the Memorial Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny)

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EdwinPikeCemetery

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Additional Info.

For more information on Edwin’s mother Ann Gibbons please see http://stmarybournegoestowar.net/2014/07/18/ann-gibbons-pike/

Edwin Pike’s Medals and other items – curtesy of Facebook user “Villa Baris Dalyan”

[1] Date of Birth & Baptism – M72/NMC/R8 Andover Primitive Methodist Baptism Register 1874-1903 1/3 (accessed at Hampshire Archives 4th October 2014)

[2] Copyright unknown, with thanks to Laura Sykes for permission to use.  For more information see http://stmarybournegoestowar.net/2014/09/28/all-is-safely-gathered-in-by-the-primitive-methodists/

[3] WO 100; Piece: 187, Ancestry.com. UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949

[4] WO 100; Piece: 100, Ancestry.com. UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949

[5] Piece: 512, Ancestry.com. UK, Railway Employment Records, 1833-1956

[6] Medal Card for Edwin Pike, Service No. 5816. Ancestry.com. British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

[7]Andover Advertiser, St Mary Bourne section newspaper dated 8th January 1915.

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