eBay unearths Appledore soldier killed in battle

Edgar Galsworthy died in battle in September 1918. Edgar Galsworthy died in battle in September 1918.

Thursday, October 25, 2012
8:00 AM

World War One officer could have family link to famous Nobel Prize winning author.

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AN amateur World War One historian is trying to trace the family of an Appledore soldier killed in action after acquiring an archive of medals and photographs on eBay.

Edgar Galsworthy died on the Western Front during the battle of Cambrai on September 27, 1918 – just five months after arriving in France.

The story was revived when Richard Steel, who lives in Kent, purchased an archive containing photographs, medals and letters to the family of Edgar on eBay.

He said: “It’s an amazing find and one which highlights a story repeated tragically all over the country in so many cases.

“As a collector of Great War medals it was the medals that initially caught my interest but the paperwork is incredible and I feel that there is more in this story to learn.”

Edgar, a keen sportsman, was only 24-years-old when several tanks in his corp broke down with mechanical problems and received four direct hits.

The records of the battle state the enemy infantry fought extremely well, in some cases trying to pull the machine guns and six pounders out of the tanks, but Edgar was killed in the action.

As well as Edgar’s wartime medals, Mr Steel also found among the archives a letter to his parents Arthur and Harriett from the author and Nobel Prize winner John Galsworthy.

The historian is hoping to be able to trace the Galsworthy family, and believes there may even be a family link between them and the famous The Forsythe Saga author.

Arthur and Harriet’s other son, also called John Galsworthy, survived the war and moved to Slough, becoming a headmaster until he died in 1951.

Mr Steel added: “I am really hoping to be able to find out more about the Galsworthys.

“Whenever a soldier died in the war his family would be sent a plaque as well as his medals.

“I would love to be able to reunite Edgar Galsworthy’s medals with his plaque, which may still be with his relatives.”

Anyone who thinks they can help Mr Steel with his research on the Galsworthy family or wish to know more can email him on richardjsteel@aol.com.

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