Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 25, 1893
Place of BirthLuton, Bedfordshire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinAlfred Hayward, Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Trade / CallingMoving Picture Operator
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number439032
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionDistrict 54 Company 125
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentDecember 21, 1914
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 3, 1964
Age at Death70

Hayward, Edwin Claridge

Edwin Claridge Hayward was born on 25 September 1893 in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. His parents were Alfred Hayward and Emma Jane Dee. Siblings included: Alfred William (b. 1883), George Harold (b. 1884), Laurence Victor (b. 1888), Violet Eliza (b. 1890), Margaret Ellen (b. 1891), Ernest Dee (b. 1893), and Noel Stephen (b. 1896).  Edwin’s father, Albert, was a licensed victualler (person licensed to sell alcohol) and was proprietor of the Sugar Loaf Hotel in Luton.

In May of 1911 Edwin immigrated to Canada and ended up in Kenora, Ontario. When he enlisted with the 3rd contingent for overseas service on 21 December 1914, Edwin was employed as a ‘motion picture operator’. By June of 1915 he was off to Port Arthur to train with the 52nd Battalion. His unit arrived in England on 14 September 1915. Edwin worked as an orderly in Shorncliffe until his transfer to the 4th Battalion in France on 19 February 1916.

Edwin sent his father a letter, excerpts of which were reported in the North Bucks Times newspaper on 27 June 1916.  ‘Two days this week have been the hardest I ever put in in my life, and I sincerely hope that they won’t be repeated in a hurry. In all probability you have read in the papers about what has happened. I’ve heard before of German dead being piled up on top of one another, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes now. I had occasion to carry bombs up to our new front line, and going up a communication trench, which was over my knees with mud, we had to walk over piled-up Germans to get through at all.’

In September of 1916 Edwin was admitted to hospital in Boulogne with an infected foot. He was invalided to England and spent five weeks recovering from the infection. On 21 December 1916 he was awarded one Good Conduct Badge. In January 1917 he transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps, serving in District 54 with Company 125. While stationed in Virginia Water, Surrey, England Edwin was working as an engine man. On 05 June 1917 an oil lubricator burst and glass fragments entered Edwin’s left eye. His eye was surgically removed and Edwin was fitted with a glass one. He was discharged from hospital in July and was reclassified B1. Edwin spent the rest of the war in England. He received his official discharge due to demobilization in England on 28 March 1919.

In 1917 Edwin married Elsie Cousins and after the war they settled in Luton, Bedfordshire. He followed in his father’s footsteps and became a licensed victualler.  Elsie died in 1961 and Edwin married widow Ivy Catherine Elizabeth (née Jarvis) Fletcher in late 1962 in the district of Luton. Her husband Archibald Fletcher had died in 1959.

Edwin Claridge Hayward died on 03 January 1964 in Smithfield, England. His Veteran Death card listed his second wife Ivy C E Fletcher of 64 Westbourne Road in Luton as next of kin. The probating of his will shows that his estate went to his brother, Noel.

Edwin’s brother, Ernest, served in England during WW1 and he too stayed there at the end of the war.

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