Harold Edwards


Harold Edwards
Sheila Warner’s Father & Sue Warner’s Grandfather

My father Harold joined the Royal Flying Corps on 25th October 1915 when he was, according to his service record, 21 9/12 years old. Fathers's-Service-recordservice-recordI was always aware that he had served in the 14/18 war as he was a member of the British Legion for many years. However in common with other men he said very little about his time in the war. He did tell us that he served with the balloons where, according to his service record, he reached the rank of Sergeant – Rigger, going up in the balloons for observation purposes and being responsible for their preparation & flying.


Father went to France on 19th March 1916 and stayed there until 12th April 1918. I still have his Army Form Z. 18. “Certificate of Employment During The War”. This form was given to men when they were demobbed from the forces and it gives details of what jobs and training they had undertaken during the war; it was designed to help them find work. Under Section 5, “Special Remarks as to qualifications, work done, or skill acquired during service with the Colours” it says: “This N.C.O. is very capable, has a good power of command and can always be relied upon to carryout any duties with which he is entrusted”. After the war father returned to the job he had had before he joined up, in a bank in London. At the start of the Second World War he went to work in the health service at a hospital in Market Bosworth.

My father told me that his friend agreed to take him up on a mission in one of the new aeroplanes the base had just acquired, on the appointed night father was told to take his balloon up so wasn’t able to accompany his friend; father got back to base that night, his friend didn’t. Another family story is that he saw the last cavalry charge the British Army ever made, I don’t know if this is true or not.

The Royal Flying Corps became the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 so father served with the RAF for one year until he was demobbed on 5th March 1919.RAFmuster-role

The original exhibition display: Harold Edwards