SHARP, Edward Sgt. 15761

Edward Sharp is spelt ‘Sharpe’ on the scroll in Astley Hall of the original Pals – his signature on his enlistment papers dated 21st September 1914 confirms the short version of his surname. Edward Sharp had originally enlisted in the Army at Warrington on the 28th September 1895 as Private 4819 in the South Lancashire Regiment; he saw action in South Africa from 1899 to 1902, during the Boer War.

He was born in Liverpool in 1879 and married Mary Elizabeth Sandham at Preston Registry Office on the 27th December 1898. They lived at 108 Clifford Street and had four children – the last one, daughter Mary Ivy, being born in Chorley on the 5th June 1916.

His service record survives in the National Archives but is burnt around the edges and one crucial page is illegible due to water damage. However, it reveals that Edward was immediately given the rank of Corporal upon joining the Pals in September 1914. He was appointed Sergeant on the 29th October 1914, duly confirmed on the 19th July 1915. For some reason, on the 31st August 1915 he is “Attached for duty with Messrs. Avery Ltd., Smethwick Birmingham”. He is then posted back to the Depot Battalion on the 4th February 1916. His next ‘attachment’ is to “Avery Ltd., Sheffield” on the 21st November 1916 until he “Rejoined from munitions” on the 27th June 1917. Later in 1917 the record seems to read as being appointed as a “Tank mechanic” – spending 1 year and 66 days in the role; before the war he was a Fitter / Mechanic.

A search of medal rolls indicates that he did not receive any medals for service abroad during the war. In early 1918 he had Gastritis (a stomach complaint), spending five weeks in hospital from the 31st March until the 7th May; thereafter he spent some time convalescing at a hospital in Blackpool until the 23rd July. Upon being demobilized on the 25th January 1919, he worked for Wilcock’s Ironmongers in Chorley. During the Second World War he worked at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Euxton on chemical explosive mixing, and was also a Civil Defence ‘Firewatcher’.

Edward died at his home in Clifford Street in 1952 and is buried in Chorley Cemetery (his death certificate giving his full name as Edward Peter Sharp).