Private 235978, 2nd/8th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers
Died 21st March 1918, aged 27
Remembered at Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres
& on both Blakeney Memorials
Edward was born in Blakeney where he was baptised 27th April 1890. He was the eldest son of Abel Richard Adcock and his wife Susannah Elizabeth Thompson who were married at Scarning 1887. His father was an agricultural labourer and whilst most of Edward’s 15 siblings were born in Blakeney, 5 were not; his eldest sister Harriet was born in Scarning followed by three brothers Albert, Richard and Arthur born in Morston, Gressenhall and Fransham respectively then Mary Ann born in Titchwell. His younger siblings were two Williams, Walter, Robert, Emma, Ethel and Susanna with Leslie Kitchener Adcock being born in 1915 after the war had begun.
In 1911, the Census records Edward as a groom, aged 20, living on the Morston Road with his grandfather, a fish hawker, and younger brother Arthur. The family home in 1911 was just a few doors away at Temple Place with the census revealing that his parents had been married 24 years, had had 15 children and that only 12 were now alive.
Edward enlisted at Swaffham shortly before 8th August 1914, joining the Norfolk Yeomanry, a mounted unit (1524, Private 206130) and would have seen action in Gallipoli and possibly may have moved to Egypt with the Yeomanry. His medal card indicates that he was awarded the Victory and British medals whilst serving with the Yeomanry. However without any surviving service records it is impossible to know exactly when he was transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers except that it was before February 1917 when the Norfolk Yeomanry became the 12th Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment.
The 2nd/8th Lancashire Fusiliers was formed at Salford, September 1914 as a Territorial Force, essentially a home based training and defence unit of volunteers. However they were eventually entrained for service on the Western Front and landed at Le Havre in March 1917 as part of the 197 Brigade in the 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division of the Second Army. By early 1918, with a major reorganisation of the army having taken place after the Battles of Passchendaele and Cambrai, this Division was assigned to the XIX Corps of the Fifth Army under General Gough.
The Corps was stationed between Cambrai and St. Quentin and consequently met the full force of the opening battle of the Spring Offensives when the Germans attacked at St. Quentin on 21st March over a section of the 40 mile long front that covered the old Somme battlefields. The Fusiliers suffered heavy casualties during the three day battle with Edward loosing his life on the first day. He is buried in a cemetery just to the east of Amiens.
His father and three brothers, Albert, Richard and Arthur also served in the Great War but they returned home. His sister Mary Ann married another Blakeney survivor, Charles Arthur Bishop, while a younger brother, Walter, married Rose Stevens nee Beck, the widow of war casualty Joe Stevens.