Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, Second Lieutenant Edmund De Wind V.C., 15th Battalion, the Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in action at the Race Course Redoubt, near Grugies in France.
After attending Campbell College in Belfast, he was employed by the Bank of Ireland in Clones, County Monaghan, and later by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Edmonton, Canada. On the 16th of November, 1914, he enlisted into the Canadian army and served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force until being commissioned into the Royal Irish Rifles in September of 1917.
Second Lieutenant De Wind saw action at Thiepval, Messines Ridge, the third Battle of Ypres, and Cambrai. On the day of his death, his actions earned him the award of the posthumous Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice at the Race Course Redoubt, near Grugies. His citations reads: For seven hours he held this most important post, and though twice wounded and practically single-handed, he maintained his position until another section could be got to his help. On two occasions, with two NCO's only, he got out on top under heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and cleared the enemy out of the trench, killing many. He continued to repel attack after attack until he was mortally wounded and collapsed. His valour, self-sacrifice and example were of the highest order.”
His body was not recovered and he is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial in France. A street is named after him in his home town, and also a mountain in Alberta, Canada. There are memorials to him in Campbell College and the Comber parish church.
Edmund, from Comber in County Down, was 34 years old.