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  • Christina Drummond

Sergeant Edwin Betony, 14th Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Sergeant Edwin Betony, 14th Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment, died from wounds received seven days earlier on the Somme.

The third child of a coal miner, he had served with the York and Lancaster Regiment prior to 1908, and then worked as a coal miner at the Barrow Colliery until the outbreak of the Great War. He re-enlisted at Pontefract in early September of 1914 with the 9th Battalion; promotion followed, to Corporal in October and Lance-Sergeant. In December; he was due to be promoted to Sergeant-Major the day after his death.

Sergeant Betony served at length in the trenches, and was wounded in May of 1915, two months before being promoted to Sergeant. His health necessitated a return to England in March of 1916, and when he returned to the front five months later he was transferred to the 14th Battalion.

Sergeant Betony was wounded during the fighting on the Somme on the 11th of December, 1916, hit in the neck and abdomen by shrapnel. Despite medical attention he died from his injuries a week later. He is buried in the Puchevillers British Cemetery, on the Somme.

Edwin, from Pogmoor, Barnsley, was 27 years old and married with three children who survived him. By the time his personal effects (his watch, cigarette case, fountain pen, gold ring, photos and letters) were returned to his wife four months later, she had re-married. One of his children had died at the age of two in 1912; and one of those who survived him died at three years old along with Sergeant Betony’s mother in December of 1918.

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