Robert Gerald EDGAR
Rank: Captain
Unit: C Company, 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 4 June 1915
Cemetery: Redoubt Cemetery, Helles, Turkey

Robert was born in the Heaton Chapel area on 10 May 1885, the son of local solicitor Robert Edgar and his wife, Emma. When the 1901 Census was taken, he was away boarding at Rugby School. The family home was at 120 Heaton Moor Road and Robert's three older sisters were still living there. They were Bertha (then 25), Doris (23) and Lucy (22). Mr Edgar's practice provided the family with a very comfortable lifestyle and they could afford to employ three live-in servants.

Robert attended Oriel College, Oxford, gaining a BA in 1907. He then became articled to train as a solicitor and, in 1911, joined the family firm of Boote, Edgar, Grace and Rylands in Manchester. In 1909, he joined the Territorial Force. He was reported to have made a study of musketry and had lectured on the subject to the part-time soldiers.

When War was declared in August 1914, the Battalion was mobilised and moved to Egypt. Click here for an account of these months. Whilst at Alexandria, Robert was able to use his legal skills and assisted in the preparation of the prosecution, before a court martial, of a German spy. The spy was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. For a short while, he was also Commandant of a prisoner of war camp and had charge of a large number of German, Austrian and Turkish captives.

On 3 May 1915, Robert and the other men of the Battalion left to go into action at Gallipoli. Normally a Company is commanded by a single Captain, but "C" Company appears to have had two. Captain Pilkington was the Commander and Robert his second-in-command. An account of the attack in which they were both killed is here.  

The Cemetery where Robert is buried has over 2000 graves but, of these, nearly 1400 are unidentified. His name is included on a special memorial within the Cemetery to 349 men known or believed to be buried amongst them. In most cases, their original grave markers were lost after the evacuation at the end of 1915.

When the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information in the early 1920s, Mr and Mrs Edgar had retired to live in North Wales and were at Cefny Mynach, Llandrillo-yn-Rhos, Colwyn Bay.

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