Meet Edward Turner, One Of Brentford's Many Heroes

Appearing on Brentford's War Memorial, being relocated

West Brentford War Memorial

A new acquisition at Boston Manor House

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For more local history articles and books see
Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society
Brentford town and family history
and Friends of Boston Manor


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E. H. H. Turner is a name that appears on at least two war memorials in Brentford commemorating the dead of World War 1.

This young man was Edgar Harold Holmes Turner the second son of Fred Turner the Brentford librarian and his wife Louise who lived at a house called Killarney at 134, Windmill Road.

Before the war Edgar worked as an accounts clerk at the Gas Works and sang, with his father in the choir at St Anne’s Church on Kew Green. He also shared his great interest in photography.

In January 2007 some negatives of his photographs from the time of his war service came to light amongst some of his father’s papers. These have been copied and are held by the local studies library. Copies have also been requested by the Imperial War Museum for their records.

Edgar had enlisted at the beginning of the war and in 1916 was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 11th Battalion Welsh Regiment serving in Macedonia. Most of the pictures date from this period and show a variety of buildings in Salonika with ships in the harbour, soldiers with their horses and receiving letters, tented camps, events during training, explosions and mules pulling hospital carts and gun carriages. Sadly, there are also  photographs of  Edgar’s grave taken by his comrades and later sent to his father.

It seems that he was injured during a raid on the Varda River in 1916 when the flares that he was carrying exploded. He was badly wounded and for two hours he was carried back to the British lines by Private Hubert Lewis who was wounded himself. Edgar Turner later sadly died and Private Lewis was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.

Edgar was only 21 years old.

Copies of some of his photographs are on display in the foyer at Brentford Library together with some information about other men from the town who are commemorated on the memorial moving to the library garden this month.
The rest of Edgar’s photographs are held by Hounslow Library local studies.

Janet McNamara

The re-dedication ceremony of Brentford's relocated war memorial is to be held at 10am Saturday 19 September.

September 4, 2009

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