The boy who enlisted for war aged just 13

Edward Wright
Edward Wright

A fascinating exhibition marking Cheddington’s contribution to the First World War is being held in the Methodist Church on Sunday (Nov 9).

More than 100 village men served in the conflict and it contains some remarkable stories – including that of young Edward Wright, who enlisted when he was only 13, claiming he was 17 years and 11 months.

Records show that the medical officer crossed this out and superimposed 18, which Edward duly signed was correct. The teenager passed out as a first class Lewis gunner and served in France. But he was sent back to the Bedfordshire depot when his mother forwarded his birth certificate to the War Office.

The exhibition has been curated by Cheddington History Society chairman and retired teacher John Smith, whose father served in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

It takes place from 2pm until 6pm, with the 1916 silent film The Battle of the Somme, being shown at 7.45pm.

On November 17, Mr Smith of Church Lane will give a talk to the Society entitled Tracing a Stretcher-Bearer in the Great War. It encapsulates his father’s experiences in the 101st Field Ambulance unit and starts at 8pm in the Methodist schoolroom..

> For more information contact John Smith on 01296 668582.