Edward was born to Edward and Margaret Whittingham in 1899, and in 1901 the family was living at 5 Pool Road, Montgomery. He was the eldest, and only son, and had two younger sisters. By 1911, the family had moved to Plough Bank, and his father was working as a road labourer. His address at the time of death is given as Mill House, Montgomery, but this is likely to be Well House, which was situated at Well Street opposite the present doctors surgery, and where now stand a pair of semi-detached houses. Edward still has living relatives in Montgomery. He originally enlisted with the Shropshire Light infantry, but no military records for him survive, so it is not possible to state where or when he enlisted. Private Edward Whittingham was killed on the 5th of June 1918, aged 19, and he is buried at the Englebelmer Communal Cemetery Extension, grave ref: D.13. The Englebelmer Communal Cemetery Extension holds 148 graves. All War graves were inscribed with the name, and if requested, the age of the deceased. Families could have an additional inscription placed on the grave, at a cost, but Edward’s family, along with many other families at the time, did not do this. Families were charged 3 inscription, and it was suggested they selected from a list of suitable inscriptions, suggested, on behalf of the Government, by Rudyard Kipling. Many families felt the charge was pennypinching on the Government’s part, and refused to pay on principle.
Instead, they often chose to commemorate their loved ones locally, by placing a tribute on a family grave, (see John Lloyd) or, as in the case of Edward’s parents paying for a plaque in his memory, now owned by Mr Crowe, of Montgomery. This cost significantly more than an inscription on a grave, but was a personal tribute, and one which they could see, unlike a grave in a “foreign field”, which was unlikely to be visited by grieving relatives.
The plaque (right) was also an opportunity to display any medals awarded to the deceased