|Date of Birth||August 14, 1881|
|Place of Birth||Darsham, Suffolk|
|Next of Kin||James W Edmonds, 82 Berry Street, Norwich, England|
|Trade / Calling||Druggist|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||7th Battalion, CE|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Date of Enlistment||August 12, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||34|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 21, 1924|
|Age at Death||43|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Albert Martin Edmonds was born on 14 August 1881 in Darsham, Suffolk, England. Both of his parents, James and Elizabeth (née Cossey) Edmonds were from Ormesby in Norfolk, a community about 55 kilometres north of Darsham. The couple had married during the first quarter of 1877, marriage registered in Yarmouth, Norfolk. Over the years James worked as a gardener. Albert had two older brothers, James William (b 1878) and Thomas Crane (1879-1900), and two younger sisters, Mary Elizabeth (b 1882) and Florence Maude (1885-1960). By the 1901 England census the family had moved to Heigham in Norfolk where Albert was working as a drug chemist’s assistant. Thomas had passed away the year before.
Albert was found on the passenger list of the Empress of Ireland that arrived in Quebec on 10 September 1908. He was listed as a returned Canadian, occupation caterer, destination Kenora, Ontario.
Although these attestation papers could not be found, Albert’s service record indicates he first enlisted with the 27th Battalion on 1 November 1914, but was discharged as medically unfit the following May. With occupation given as druggist, Albert next signed attestation papers in Kenora on 12 August 1915. He gave 5 years of service in Volunteers in England as previous military service.
Albert trained in Winnipeg for a number of months first with the A Section of the No 1 Canadian Field Ambulance before transferring to the 10th Field Ambulance in January of 1916. In late February of 1916, a train passed through Kenora on its way east on the first leg of the journey to France. On board was Private Albert Edmonds along with a number of other local men. The No 10 Canadian Field Ambulance left Saint John, New Brunswick on 2 March 1916 aboard the Scandinavian, arriving in England on the 12th, strength 9 officers, 180 other ranks. The unit embarked for France in early April.
The No 10 Canadian Field Ambulance served as one of three ambulances with the 3rd Division at Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and other battles. Field Ambulances were mobile units situated quite close behind the fighting front. The job of the field ambulance was to treat men who could be quickly returned to the unit but in general to prepare the men for a move to a Casualty Clearing Station.
Albert was admitted to the No 42 Casualty Clearing Station in late October of 1916 with PUO, fever of unknown origin. By mid November he had rejoined the unit. On 12 August 1917 he was awarded a Good Conduct Badge, followed by a two week leave.
On 28 May 1918 Albert was attached to the 7th Battalion, Canadian Engineers. He was granted a 14 day leave in late October of 1918, rejoining the unit on the 13th of November. Returning to England in February of 1919, Albert embarked for Canada aboard the Olympic on the 17th of March.
Albert returned to Kenora and on 1 August 1920 he married Mary Gladys Conlon. The daughter of John and Clara (née Speight) Conlon, Mary was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. She had moved to Kenora with her family at a young age. Albert and Mary gave birth to two daughters, Constance and Priscilla. Albert worked for the town electrical department as a linesman before he took a job with the Canadian Pacific Railway. While switching in the CPR yards, Albert was accidentally killed on early Thursday morning, 21 August 1924. He is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.
Mary eventually moved to Winnipeg where she lived with her daughter Constance. Mary died in 1969 in Winnipeg and she is interred with Albert in Kenora. Priscilla married Glynn Lyons and after living in Fort William, Ontario, later moved to St Albert, Alberta.
by Judy Stockham