9th October 1918

Private Edmund Knight died in Belgaum (now Belagavi), India on 9th October 1918 whilst serving with the 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was born in Berkswell in 1888 and was the younger of the two sons of parents William (an agricultural labourer) and Harriet (née Tomes) who had married in the Rugby district in 1882.

It seems that Harriet died soon after Edmund’s birth, as her husband, William (1831-1905), is listed as widowed on the 1891 census. Their four-year-old son William Henry (born 1886) (known as Henry) was also at the family home, but Edmund, who would have been two years old, is not in evidence. It’s likely that he was staying with family members. By 1901, Edmund, aged 12, was back living in Redfern Lane, Berkswell with his father (aged 70) and his brother (aged 14). It looks as if the boys’ father, William, died in 1905, aged 74. Henry seems to have taken over the farm as he was living there alone on the 1911 census.

On 26th December 1912, Edmund married Rosina Lucy Voller in Shere, Surrey, at which time he was a bricklayer living in Rugby. Their only child, Claude Leonard Knight, was born in Rugby on 25th February 1917 and became a research chemist. It seems that Claude emigrated to Australia in the 1940s and worked for the Australian government. He had two sons, Ivan and Christopher, and died in Australia in 2002.

In July 1918, the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, which had been in Mesopotamia since February 1916, was deployed in North Persia. It was part of the 39th Infantry Brigade and formed part of NORPERFORCE – the North Persia Force.

Private Edmund Knight is buried at Belgaum Government Cemetery, India. His name does not appear on Berkswell war memorial, presumably as a result of his having left the area some years before the war started.

In 1921, his widow, Rosina, married William G. Walton. She died in 1979, shortly before her 94th birthday.

If you have any further information, please let us know.

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk

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