Arthur Edwards was born in Wolverhampton in 1892, the son of Reuben and Jane or Jennie Edwards (nee Lea). In 1901, they were living at 9 Deanery Row, Stafford Street, together with Arthur’s sisters Nellie and Ethel. By 1911, they had moved to 15 Deanery Row, and the household simply consisted of Arthur and his parents. By this date, Arthur had become a Cramp Maker.
Arthur enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment in October 1910, but was not sent to France until 28 November 1914, where he served until 3 November 1917. During the course of this service, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, which was reported in the Express & Star on 10 August 1915 (although it erroneously gives his initials as “A. E.”). His citation reads as follows:
For conspicuous gallantry on the 16th May 1915, near Rue du Bois, when he bound up three severely wounded men, who had become entangled in wire near the first line German trenches, under a very heavy shell fire, and succeeded in releasing them. He assisted two of them to the cover of the trench, and showed the greatest gallantry and devotion to duty throughout the action.
On 14 June 1916, he married Mary Ann Elizabeth Arnold at St George’s Church, Wolverhampton, and the couple went on to have three children – Arthur C., Thomas E. and Cissie E. – between 1919 and 1928. Arthur died in Wolverhampton in 1964.