Monday 11 September 2017

Loughborough Teacher wounded in action.

Lieutenant Edward Stephen Plumb 

2nd, 3rd and 9th Battalions of the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment

Died of wounds, 8th September 1917

When Edward Stephen Plumb was born on the 24th December 1890 and registered in January 1891in Edmonton, Middlesex, his father, Edward, was 29, his mother, Lydia, 23 and his sister, Lydia, 2. Edward senior was a plumber and gas fitter. When Edward was one, his sister, Ethel, was born on the 11th December 1892. Another sister, Enid Caroline, was born in April 1895 when Edward was four years old. Four years later, in 1899, Sydney Ernest was born but sadly died in 1902 when Edward was eleven. Sister, Muriel Evelyn Avril was born on the 18th April 1901 and Alma Dorothy in 1906 when Edward was fifteen.

When he was eight, Edward was admitted to Munster Road School, London and then, in September 1905, he went on to the Latymer School in Edmonton.  He achieved a Bachelor of Arts at London University.

The 1911 census shows Stephen living with his family at 133 Munster Road, Fulham where he was a student teacher. His father was then a jobbing builder and decorator and older sister, Lydia, a piano teacher and younger sister, Ethel, a cashier.

In 1916 Edward served as 2nd Lieutenant with 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment and then, on the 7th April 1917 he entered the theatre of war, as Lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. He was wounded near Arras and taken to the 8th Casualty Clearing Station near Duisans. Sadly he later died of his wounds on the 8th September 1917.  He was just 26. 

Edward's parents received a letter from his commanding officer which said: "I had only known your son a few weeks but during that time I saw what a sterling, capable officer he was. His loss is a great blow to the battalion. Your son was splendidly brave when he was wounded and he had just done some fine work."

Another officer, with whom Edward had been working, wrote: "He was with me doing some special work which was interrupted about 3.00 a.m. by hostile shelling, and all of us went back into the trench to wait until things were quieter. Unfortunately a chance shell fell where we were killing another officer and wounding your son badly in the right leg and wrist, and another soldier, both of whom I am sorry to say died after we got them down to the dressing station. Your son's bravery was splendid, and he was smoking a cigarette when he was being bandaged."

Lieutenant Plumb was buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun. His death was recorded in the School's magazine where he had been teaching – Loughborough Grammar School.

His medals, The British War Medal and The Victory Medal, and effects were sent to his father, Edward Plumb, at 170 Queen's Road, Brockhurst Hill, Essex. He also left £107 4s 2d to his father.
© Karen Ette