Pte 17176 West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 15th Battalion, Leeds Pals

Edward was born in Leeds, 1893 as the son of Sam Padgett – a bricklayer’s labourer – and Sarah Ann Taylor. The two had married in December 1899 in Leeds. There was also an elder brother, Sam, born in 1890 and a younger brother named Jim who was born in 1903. He also appears to have had three step-siblings from his mother’s first marriage – Sydney Taylor, Eva Taylor and Polly Taylor. On the 1911 census, the family were living at 1 Cotton Street, Leeds. (Source: 1911 Census)

Edward married Emily Elisabeth Carr in Leeds on 29th September 1914. He was attested and enlisted in the West Yorkshire Regiment in December of the following year. At the time, his address was given as 30 Beckett Street, Leeds and later changed to 4 Glencoe Road, Easy Road, Leeds. His occupation at this time was listed as a barber, his height given as over 5ft and considered to be of average physique. (Source: Army Form B. 2512: Short Service, Descriptive Report on Enlistment)

He was posted to the 15th Battalion and remained in reserve until 6th April 1916. At this point he was mobilised for home service until 19th July 1916. He was in France until October and then returned to England until 5th June 1917. On the 6th, he returned to France and remained there until the 27th March 1918 when he was reported as missing. (Source: Statement of Services)

In fact, he had been severely wounded and captured by the Germans during their last attack on Ayette. Only four officers and about 40 men escaped from this attack and Edward was not one of them. His POW status was confirmed on 7th December 1918. He had suffered two gunshot wounds to his left leg and both bones in his right leg had been fractured.

He was imprisoned at Stralkowo near Posen and repatriated to Switzerland on 1st September 1918 where he was interned at Interlaken. When he returned to England, Edward was treated at the 2nd Northern General Hospital at Beckett’s Park. On 18th March 1920, he was discharged from Ripon Military Hospital and the army on account of his wounds. He was assessed and awarded a 50% disability pension. (Source: British Interned in Switzerland and Army Form W. 3961A.)

After his service, he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. (Source: Medal Card)

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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