Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Fearenside DSO OBE
Edmund Fearenside was
born on the 2nd June 1881 in the Market town of Burton, near Kendal
The Son of Thomas Charles, a local coal, wine and spirit merchant and Mary Ann Fearenside, Edmund had an older Brother Harold born in 1880.
Edmunds Father died 6
Months after he was born and when he was 6, His Mother died in 1887 aged 36
Years. Edmund went to live with his Fathers Brother, William
at 44, Hartingham Road, Toxteth Park,
He was a fine
Cricketer and an excellent
“Ted” as he was
affectionately known carried off many of the School prizes and it was no
surprise when in 1900 he won an open scholarship to queens College, Oxford. Ted
From 1903-1904 he was
a member of Harlequins rugby club and a
In 1905, Edmund
Fearenside took up the post of classics master at
(Another ex Master of Merchiston was Wilfrith Elstob who was later to command the 16th Battalion and go on to win a Victoria Cross for his actions at Manchester Hill in 1918).
Edmund had had only 50 hours previous Military Experience with the Edinburgh University Officer Training Corp but he Volunteered for service and on the 19th September 1914 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 17th (Service) Battalion of The Manchester Regiment.
Manchesters were a “Pals” Battalion raised amongst the City’s clerks and
warehousemen in a welter of patriotic fervour and indignation at
The small, but highly
trained peacetime British Army were despatched to
On the 19th December 1914 Lieutenant Fearenside was promoted to Temporary Captain and was appointed the Second in Command of A company.
On the 24th
April 1915 the Battalion moved to
On the 8th
November 1915, Captain Fearenside and the 17th Battalion left
rare picture of Lieutenant Colonel Fearenside taken whilst on Wartime service
In the July battles
of the Somme, Captain Fearenside was awarded the Distinguished Service Order
for his part in the assault on the
“For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led up to two companies of reinforcements over some 1,800 yards of open ground swept by machine gun fire, into a village. Here he rallied his men and organised a further attack. He displayed the greatest coolness and courage throughout”.
On the 13th
October 1916 Captain Fearenside proceeded to
On the 7th January 1917 Captain Fearenside DSO took command of A Company. On the 23rd he was appointed Battalion second in Command.
On several occasions
during His service Captain Fearenside assumed command of the Battalion and
apart from a brief posting to Brigade Headquarters he spent the whole of the
war with them. He returned to
On the 3rd
June 1919 he was appointed an Officer in the order of the
On the 15th July 1919 he relinquished the acting rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was finally released from Military Service on the 16th July 1919.
During the Second
World War he returned to teaching as a Master at St Edwards School in
His address was given
DSO, OBE died, after along illness on the 2nd October 1959 in an
Thanks are due to Lieutenant Colonel Fearenside’s Niece Mrs Goodman who provided most of the information and photographs and graciously gave the Manchester Regiment Group permission to reproduce it.