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                                     Gordon Edwards 1923 - 1940

This is a tribute to my first cousin once removed. He was born on 28 December 1923 and who could have possibly known that the month before his seventeenth birthday, his short life would have come to an end. His name was Ronald Albert Gordon Edwards, the only child of Albert and Lilian Edwards of Coventry. Lilian originated from Langley, Oldbury, but moved to Coventry with her family when she was in her early teens.

During World War II, Gordon (as he was known), became an ARP messenger. In an air raid on Coventry on 29 October 1940, St Laurence's Church, Old Church Road, was hit by a bomb and caught fire. The firemen found the building securely locked up so Gordon rushed from his home in Proffitt Avenue and volunteered  to be hoisted on a fireman's shoulder so that he could break a window and climb in. He succeeded and opened the doors so that the firemen could take action and the church was saved from destruction. Tragically, within sixteen days, Gordon was dead. He died with two other boys and four adults on 14 November 1940 when a bomb hit an ARP post in Foleshill Road, Coventry. They had reported to the post only a few minutes earlier and their job was to make their way on bicycle, on foot or whatever means they could, between posts to provide communications.

The information below is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission...........

Casualty Details
Initials: G
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 16
Date of Death: 14/11/1940
Additional information: Civil Defence Messenger. Son of Albert and Lilian Edwards, of 12 Proffitt Avenue, Bell Green. Died at A.R.P. H.Q., Foleshill Road.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead

There is a memorial near the South Porch of St Laurence's Church, over the site where Gordon's ashes lie. This is also where Gordon opened the door on the night of 29 October 1940.

The photograph above shows the garden of Lillian and Albert Edwards, eighteen months before Gordon lost his life. There were over 8,000 tulips and Lillian is standing amongst them whilst residents gather to look at the spectacular display.

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