Gunner, 277542, 119th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Killed in Action near Ypres, Belgium, 8 May 1918, aged 43
Buried in Gwalia Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium
Grave Reference: Plot 11.F.17

(left) Edward James Luxford pictured in 1916
with his wife before leaving Tilbury for France and Belgium.
(centre and right) His gravestone and memorial in
the British cemetery at Poperinge, Belgium.

Edward James Luxford was born in 1874 in Forest Row. He was the son of Job and Jane Luxford. At the time of the 1881 census they were living at Witch Cross (sic) Inn on the Lewes Road. Job was a bricklayer aged 31 who had been born in Horsted Keynes. Jane, his mother, was also 31. Edward had one younger brother and two younger sisters.

In the 1891 census the family were recorded as still living in Forest Row. Job as now described as a builder. The occupation of Edward, 16, was given by the census as "house painter, builder's apprentice". Three younger sisters were also recorded.

Although they did not appear in the 1901 census (Edward was serving in Aden with the army — see below), by 1911 they were living at Little Parrock Farm, Coleman's Hatch. Edward was now a house painter. His wife Elizabeth (née Smith, b.1874) was 36, and they had two young daughters, Elizabeth Jane (b.1908) and Florence (b.1909). Also present was Florence Ada Smith, Edward's 29-year-old sister-in-law. Edward and Elizabeth had been married on 6 February 1906 at Holy Trinity Church in Forest Row.

Edward James would have worked for his father, a well-known local builder and contractor who, according to a 1909 advertisement in the Forest Row Church Monthly, operated from the Steam Joinery Works in Forest Row. He advertised as a painter, glazier, house decorator, plumber and gas and hot-water fitter. He was also the authorised plumber to the East Grinstead and East Surrey water companies.

Edward James Luxford had originally enlisted in 1895 at the age of 20 years and 9 months. At various times he served in India, Aden, Gibraltar and at home. He was approaching the age of 40 when the First World War broke out. Now a gunner in the 119th Siege Battery, the Royal Garrison Artillery, Edward was killed in action near Ypres, Belgium, on 8 May 1918. He was 43. He is buried in the British cemetery at Gwalia, Poperinge, Belgium, plot number 11.F.17. The cemetery holds 467 Commonwealth burials of which 465 are identified.


Gwalia cemetery, Poperinge, West Vlaanderen, Belgium.
(Click to enlarge)

The entry for Edward Luxford in the Book of Remembrance held in Holy Trinity Church, Forest Row, recorded him as the husband of Elizabeth Luxford of 2, Highfields, Forest Row. The Remembrance Book entry was signed by his father, Job Luxford, of The Cottage, Highfields, Forest Row. Edward's cousin, William Luxford, the son of Job's brother, William Peter Luxford, also died in the war, on 23 November 1917 at Cambrai.

Edward Luxford is listed on the war memorials at Forest Row and Hartfield.

Kevin Tillett