EDYVEAN, Roswald

Service Number: 3101
Enlisted: 15 July 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kadina, South Australia, 30 September 1893
Home Town: Kadina, Copper Coast, South Australia
Schooling: Kadina Public School
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Killed in Action, Flers, France, 5 November 1916, aged 23 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kadina & District WW1 Roll of Honor, Kadina Town Hall WW1 & WW2 Roll of Honour, Kadina War Memorial Arch, St Peters Heroes War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

15 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3101, 27th Infantry Battalion, Keswick, South Australia
12 Jan 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3101, 27th Infantry Battalion,

embarkation_roll: roll_number: 15 embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Medic embarkation_ship_number: A7 public_note:

1 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3101, 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
5 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3101, 27th Infantry Battalion, 'The Winter Offensive' - Flers/Gueudecourt winter of 1916/17

Named in honour

Edyvean is a Cornish name - the family came to Kadina with other Cornish families to mine for copper in SA's Copper Triangle, viz. Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo.

As the records show, Ross was born there and likewise his parents, so the family was here quite early in the region's mining history.

A bit of bitter-sweet trivia related to Roswald's death (he was my father's uncle).

Roswald died 5 November 1016 and my father named Donald Edward Catchlove was born 13 November 1916.

After news arrived that Roswald had been KIA, my father became known for all time as 'Ross'.

My dad thus became a kind of living memorial to Roswald. I'm sure that would have been a common occurrence at the time as surviving family members tried to come to grips with the slaughter of their loved ones. Jeff Catchlove.

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Roswald ("Ross") Edyvean was the youngest son of Mr Sidney and Mrs. Ellen Edyvean of Lipson Avenue, Kadina South.

BIOGRAPHICAL from ( - portrait included:


Pte. Roswald Edyvean, news of whom death in action in Belgium has been received, was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Edyvean of Lipson Avenue, Kadina South.

He enlisted in the 7thReinforcements of the 27th Battalion on July 19, 1915, and left Adelaide for Egypt as bugler on January 12 last.

After sometime in Egypt he went forward to France about June; and then was engaged in various military duties. He was fighting with the forces in Belgium when he met his death.

He was 23 years of age. He was a promising young man, and of a bright and cheerful disposition. Prior to the war he was for some time engaged with his father in the business of contractor and builder at Kadina. For some time he was an active member of the Kadina Young Men's Club, and later was associated with the College Park Congregational Church and Sunday school.  

He  was married on August 28, 1915 (shortly  after enlistment) to Miss Doris Fabian, daughter of Mr. John Fabian, of Union Street, St. Peters.

NOTE – this attribution of death (‘in Belgium’) is incorrect.  See text below

Ross Edyvean was a not quite 22 year old carpenter from Kadina  when he enlisted in the AIF in July 1915.   He was assigned to the 7th Reinforcements for the 27th Battalion.

His enlistment papers were altered to change his Next of Kin from his mother, Mrs Ellen Edyvean of Lipson Avenue Kadina subsequent to his marriage.  His wife moved from her father’s home in Union Street St Peters, to 36 Charles Street Norwood shortly afterwards.

His papers also state that he was referred to at various times as a bugler.

After basic training at Mitcham Camp, he and his colleagues embarked on the HMAT Medic at Port Adelaide on the 12th January 1916, arriving in Alexandria following the ‘doubling of the AIF’ and the creation of the 2nd Division to which the 27th Battalion and its parent 7th Brigade, were assigned. However the 7th reinforcements had more training to do so they were not taken on charge by the 27th Battalion at this time; the transhipment of the AIF to France via Marseilles was taking place.  Indeed, Ross was shortly afterwards embarked on the "Oriana" for Marseilles.  He was then sent to Etaples, the massive personnel and training depot behind Allied lines in France for further training, while the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Australian Divisions went first to Flanders, and then in July to the Somme.

Ross Edyvean missed the 27th Battalion's baptism of fire at Pozieres, but arrived during their re-consolidation for the second phase of that campaign;  the attack on Mouquet Farm.  He joined the 27th Battalion as a reinforcement on 11th August 1916.

The Australian Divisions came out of Pozieres  / Mouquet Farm having sustained 23,000 casualties in just five weeks, with 5,000 killed among them.  They were redeployed briefly to Flanders but in mid October they returned south  to the Somme to form the right flank of General Haig's last throw of the dice before winter set in.  They went into the line near Guedecourt / Flers, just a few kilometres south east of Pozieres.  By now the countryside had been pulverised by weeks of relentless shelling, and autumn rain which had created a dismal sea of mud.

The 27th Battalion was committed to an attack on a German position near Flers as part of the 7th Brigade on the 5th November.  earlier, the 1st Brigade had attacked ear Guedecourt sustaining heavy casualties.  It was as part of that attack near Flers that Ross Edyvean's luck ran out.  He was listed as killed in action.  There are no specific details of the circumstances of his death, and his burial site is not recorded in his documents.  Given the conditions around Flers / Guedecourt, it is not surprising that many graves were lost in the mire of mud and shelling which took place throughout the winter there which was the worst in living memory.

Ross Edyvean is one of the more than 18,000 Australian soldiers of WW1 with no known grave.  Accordingly he is commemorated on the Wall of Remembrance at the Australian National War Memorial, Villers Bretonneux.

Cemetery: Villers-Bretonneux Memorial

MR 26 Part 2 C-F, 2943


Departement de la Somme

Picardie, France

Cemetery Details: Australian Infantry, A.I.F.

Memorials: Adelaide 1 National War Memorial , KadinaA, KadinaHB03, KadinaHB04

Personal effects returned to NoK August 1919. ex HMAT Bulla.


Commemorative Plaque and Scroll - 313735 received 1921

British War Medal  29915

Victory Medal  - 29733