|Date of Birth||November 5, 1898|
|Place of Birth||Gortnamoney, Moira, County Down|
|Force||British Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||North Irish Horse|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Date of Death||January 11, 1984|
|Age at Death||85|
Edward Hewitt was born on 5 November 1890 in Gortnamoney, Moira in County Down in northern Ireland. His parents William Hewitt and Mary Ann Costley were both from the area, marrying on 3 April 1888 in Moira. At the time of Edward’s birth William’s occupation was given as ploughman on his birth record while later censuses gave it as labourer or farmer. Children born to the couple were Edward, Ethel (1892), Margaret (1896), Frances Eveleen (1899), Muriel Hayes (1900), Samuel (1902), Ida Lucy (1903), Henry (1905), and Frederick William (1907). Sadly Muriel died in November of 1913 followed by Mary Ann in January of 1914, both of influenza.
Exact details of Edward’s service during WW1 are unknown. His medals record card and rolls indicated that he served with the North Irish Horse, service number 1118 with rank of Private. He arrived in France on 1 May 1915 and likely was attached to a Cyclist Battalion. His medals card/roll also gave a second service number of 71240, with service as a Lance Corporal with the 19th Corps of Hussars. With the end of the war Edward was placed in reserve in early February of 1919. For his service he was awarded the Victory and British War medals as well as 15 Star medal. A later newspaper article as well as his obituary gave Edward’s service as with the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars.
On 31 July 1918, in Lurgan in northern Ireland, Edward married Georgina McCleary. His occupation on the marriage record was given as Sergeant with North Irish Horse while Georgina’s was given as damask weaver. Born on 30 May 1896 in Dundee, Scotland, Georgina was the daughter of Robert McCleary and Sarah Heron. Although both from northern Ireland, her parents had married on 15 October 1887 in Dundee. By the time of the 1901 Ireland census her family had moved to Lisball, Bailieboro in County Cavan where Robert worked as an agricultural labourer. In 1920 Edward and Georgina gave birth to daughter Amy.
With passage paid by the government, Edward, Georgina, and Amy were found on the passenger list of the Minnedosa that arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick on 19 March 1921. The list indicated that they were on their way to the Colonization Depot Winnipeg, with Edward looking to work as a farm labourer. However by early June as confirmed by the 1921 census, the family had settled in Kenora, Ontario where Edward found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway. A 1940’s Voter’s list showed him as working in the baggage department for the CPR. Daughter Georgina was born in 1922 in Kenora.
Edward retired from the CPR in 1956, with he and Georgina then embarking from Montreal that May aboard the Empress of Scotland for a three month trip to Ireland. They later moved to Victoria, British Columbia where both daughters and their families were living. In 1968 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, a reception organized by their two daughters.
Predeceased by his wife Georgina in on 11 December 1982, Edward died on 11 January 1984 in the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. At the time of his death he was survived by his daughters and sons in law Amy and Rupert Champion and Georgina and Jack Drummond, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He was also survived by his sister Ida back in Ireland. Disposition was by cremation via Royal Oaks in Saanich.
By Judy Stockham