Edward Victor Mannion

Edward Victor Mannion
Edward was born in Marylebone, London, in 1896. Little is known of his parents, James and Martha (née Pryke). In 1901 he lived with his uncle and aunt, John and Rebecca Woods, at Wellington Street, St Ives, along with his grandmother, Martha Pryke. By 1911 Martha and Edward, or Victor as he preferred, lived in Wellington Lane, St Ives. Edward worked for Copley's Solicitors in St Ives.

It's uncertain when Edward enlisted. He joined the 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment and may have landed in France as early as July 1915, aged 19 years. Engaged in major battles throughout 1916, 1917 and 1918, they gained a reputation as one of the British Army's best units.

In March 1918 the Germans launched a major offensive to take the strategic town of Amiens. As they moved westwards towards their goal, at dawn on 24 April 1918 they launched gas attacks and an artillery barrage. When the smoke cleared, giant A7V tanks lumbered into view, the first use of tanks by the Germans. The British forces scattered and Villers-Bretonneux fell to the enemy. The town was tactically important as it brought Amiens within range of German artillery.

War diary, 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment
War diary for 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment
An immediate counter-attack was planned for 10pm. In pitch darkness two Australian Divisions encircle the town whilst British units launched a frontal attack. The town was captured the following day and the German advance was halted. Edward's Battalion suffered heavy casualties, with 16 killed in action, 112 wounded and 70 missing, the action being recorded in the Battalion war diary.

Initially Edward was listed as one of those missing. His family waited for news, hoping against hope that he had been captured and was a prisoner of war. Almost six months later his death was confirmed as Wednesday 24 April 1918. He was aged 22 years. The news was reported on  11 October 1918. Edward has no known grave and is commemorated at Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

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Source materials
Click any of the links below to view original source materials.
1901 Census
1911 Census
Medal Rolls Index Card
Commonwealth War Graves Register
Commemorative Certificate

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