Edgar GIESENBERG
Rank: Private
Number: 2653
Unit: 1/7th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 16 or 18 September 1915
Age: 18
Cemetery: Twelve Trees Copse Cemetery, Helles, Turkey

Rudolf Giesenberg had come to Britain from Germany and , in 1891, he married Martha Brannigan. She is believed to have been his second wife as his oldest son, Leonard, had been born in 1887. Over the coming years, the couple would have at least three children together - Sarah, Edgar and Ludwig. The 1901 Census shows the family living at 30 Peel Moat Road, Heaton Moor. Rudolf was a successful businessman, importing fancy goods. It allowed the family a comfortable lifestyle, including the employment of two live-in servants - Sarah Livesey, a 27 year old nurse to look after the children and 16 year old Lily Rose, a general servant. The family worshipped at St Thomas' Church, Heaton Chapel.

Edgar was educated at Stockport Secondary School, Heaton Moor College and Caldy Grange School in West Kirby. He then went to work as an apprentice in the glove department of Hall, Higham & Co, 6 Dale Street, Manchester. Much of Edgar's leisure time revolved around his membership of the Heaton Moor Cricket and Tennis Club.

He volunteered for the army in September 1914 and was assigned to the 2/7th Battalion, Manchester Regiment and undertook his training at Southport and Crowborough. The 2/7th was the reserve unit for the 1/7th and Edgar was taken on the strength of the fighting battalion when he had finished his training. He left England on 2 August 1915, as part of a draft of troops intended as replacements for casualties at Gallipoli.

It's not known when Edgar actually landed at Gallipoli but it will have been around the middle of August. He will have missed the major attacks and this was a relatively quiet time. In the early part of September, the Battalion was in reserve bivouacs on the cliffs at Gully Beach. On the 10th, they moved back into the front line at a position known as the Border Barricade. This position had been captured in the July fighting and, initially, had been simply fortified with rocks to create a barricade.

At 18.30 on the 16th, the Battalion had just "Stood To" with everyone manning the firing line. The Battalion History describes what happened next. The Turks exploded a mine underneath the British positions blowing up about 35 yards of the trench. "Dense columns of smoke and earth shot up high into the air and the rapidly increasing darkness of the evening added greatly to our difficulties. Most gallant work was done in digging out buried men, a task of great danger, as the front trench was completely destroyed and the Turks whose trenches at this point were within ten yards of ours, were bombing heavily."  13 men had been killed

Two days later, the Battalion's War Diary records that a British trench mortar dropped short, just behind the lines and the explosion killed two men.

The casualty returns for this tour of duty in the trenches have been amalgamated and all but two of the deaths have been recorded as happening on the 18th. As such, it is not possible to know in which incident Edgar was killed.

Edgar is commemorated on memorial within Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery. The Cemetery was created after the Armistice when bodies originally buried in small isolated plots were brought together. He is believed to be amongst them.

   
           
   
     
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