Edward Ernest Knowlson
The story and photographs are shared by the Trust with kind permission from Brenda, Ted’s elder daughter, and Patricia (Pat), Ted’s younger daughter.
Lance Corporal Edward “Ted” Knowlson (nicknamed “Tiny”) fell on 22 July 1944. His grandson David tells Ted’s story below.
My grandfather had signed up for the Army in 1942, having previously been employed as a Police Constable in the Metropolitan Police War Reserve. At this time, Ted had four siblings, with two sisters having predeceased him and his father Private Albert Edward Knowlson having been killed in the early days of the First World War.
On 21 July 1944, Ted sent a Field Service Post Card to his wife Violet, who had just evacuated from London to Yorkshire with her two daughters, Brenda, who is my mother and was then aged six, and Pat (then aged three months). The postcard noted that a letter would follow at the first opportunity and was dated 21 July 1944.
The following day he sent a longer letter, in the form of a standard soldier’s letter. He tucked a note to his daughter Brenda inside, which reads:
I hope you are getting along alright at school and are being good and helping Mummy. Kiss sister Pat for me and I hope to see you both soon.
Lots of love, Daddy xxxxxxxx
In this letter, Ted says: perhaps the war won’t last much longer, I hope not anyway. This was in fact his final letter home, having died the same day the letter was written.
Ted was serving in 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, which was part of 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division. On the evening of 22 July, his battalion commenced an attack on the village of Maltot, near Hill 112, and during that attack he was killed. He is buried in Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery and both Brenda and Pat have been able to visit over the years, as have other members of the Knowlson family including Ted’s nephew Ron, who now lives in Australia.
EDWARD ERNEST KNOWLSON
Army • LANCE CORPORAL
DIED 22 July 1944
SERVICE NO. 6482264