Bertram Alexander Edlin was born in Linton, Cambridgeshire, in 1883. He was the son of Henry and Louisa Cowling, who ran the Green Hill Public House in Linton. Henry died in early 1892, aged 31, and by the end of the same year Louisa had remarried to a man called William Hagger in Lambeth.
By 1901, Bertram had left the family home, and was living as a boarder with Arthur Timms and his family at 5 Granville Terrace, Granville Road, South Woodford. Bertram worked as a grocer’s assistant.
Bertram joined the army, and was in Gibraltar with the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment in 1909. The 1911 Census shows him to be in Bermuda, where the Battalion was posted from 1910 to 1912. However, he was not to be a career soldier as by the time war broke out in 1914, Bertram was employed by the London County Council at Claybury Asylum (for mental illness), Woodford Bridge.
Nevertheless, Bertram returned to uniform at the start of the war and was posted to 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. He arrived in France on 16th August 1914.
Bertram was killed in action on 13th October 1914, during the battle of La Bassée. He was killed during a heavy bombardment of the trenches and village that the battalion was holding.
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
LCC Record of Service