Edgar Norman KNELL


KNELL, Edgar Norman

Service Number: 182
Enlisted: 6 February 1915, Stratford, Victoria
Last Rank: Second Corporal
Last Unit: 22nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Malvern, Victoria, Australia, July 1894
Home Town: Maffra, Wellington, Victoria
Schooling: Malvern State School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Cancer, West Croydon/Thornton Heath, England, United Kingdom, 15 January 2019
Cemetery: Harefield (St. Mary) Churchyard
Inscription: He is not dead - but stands triumphant on the shining heights Father, Harefield (St Mary) Churchyard, Harefield, Hillingdon, England, United Kingdom
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

6 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 182, Stratford, Victoria
10 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 182, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
10 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 182, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne
30 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 182, 22nd Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
3 Oct 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Driver, SN 182, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Breaching the Hindenburg Line - Cambrai / St Quentin Canal, GSW (right foot)
15 Jan 1920: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Corporal, SN 182

Help us honour Edgar Norman Knell's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK/Scotland/Ireland 

Died on this date – 15th January…… Edgar Norman Knell was born at Malvern, Victoria in 1894.

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 6th February, 1915 as a 20 year old Labourer from Armadale, Victoria.

Private Edgar Norman Knell embarked from Melbourne on HMAT Ulysses (A38) on 10th May, 1915 with the 6th Infantry Brigade, 22nd Infantry Battalion “A” Company. His mother – Caroline Brooks died on 1st July, 1915 at Armadale, Victoria.

On 19th October, 1915 he was admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance at Anzac with dermatitis of shoulder then transferred & admitted to Hospital on 20th October, 1915. Private Knell rejoined his Unit from Hospital on 12th November, 1915.

He disembarked at Alexandria from Mudros on 7th January, 1916 (after the evacuation of Gallipoli).
Private Knell was appointed Lance Corporal at Canal Zone on 1st February, 1916. He reverted to ranks at own request on 21st February, 1916.

On 19th March, 1917 he proceeded to join B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) from Alexandria & was mustered as Temporary Driver. He disembarked at Marseilles, France on 26th March, 1916.

(Temporary) Driver Edgar Norman Knell was appointed Driver on 25th March, 1917.

He was sent sick to 5th Field Ambulance on 12th July, 1917 & eventually admitted to 39th General Hospital at Havre, France on 19th July, 1917 – cause of illness “N.Y.D.” (Not Yet Determined). He was discharged & posted to 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot at Havre on 30th August, 1917, rejoining his Battalion in the field on 6th October, 1917.

Driver Knell was still with his Unit in the Field on 30th June, 1918.

Driver Edgar Norman Knell was wounded in action on 3rd October, 1918 at Waincourt. He was taken to 53rd Casualty Clearing Station then transferred to Ambulance Train. Driver Knell was admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen, France on 4th October, 1918 with shrapnel wounds to foot. Driver Knell was listed for transfer by Hospital Ship to England on 6th October, 1918 & was admitted to 4th Southern General Hospital at Plymouth, England on 7th October, 1918 with gunshot wounds to right foot.

From 6th to 20th November, 1918 Driver Knell was on furlo. He reported back to No. 1 Command Depot & was then transferred to Australian Army Ordnance Corps from 22nd Battalion.

On 14th March, 1919 Driver Knell was transferred to A.Q.M.G. Admin Headquarters, London. He was appointed Temporary 2nd Corporal on 9th May, 1919.

Temporary 2nd Corporal Knell was eligible for 15 days extra Disembarkation leave from 31st July, 1919 & again from 30th September, 1919.

Temporary 2nd Corporal Knell was promoted to 2nd Corporal on 29th May, 1919.

He was admitted to Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank, London, England on 21st November, 1919. A Medical Report was completed on 2nd Corporal Knell & a laparoscopy operation occurred on the 3rd December, 1919 where it was found that he had Carcinoma of stomach which was inoperable. 2nd Cpl. Edgar Knell was classified as permanently unfit for General Service & Home Service.

Following the Medical Report on 30th December, 1919 an application for discharge in a country other than Australia was completed on 30th December, 1919 due to 2nd Cpl. Edgar Knell’s ill health. 2nd Cpl. Edgar Knell had served for 4 years, 10 months & 24 days in the A.I.F. & was medically classed as totally unfit. The Commanding Officer wrote that 2nd Cpl. Edgar Knell “is anxious to obtain his discharge to proceed to his relative. He is suffering from cancer in the stomach and I am informed no hope is entertained for his recovery. He has states he has no dependents.”

2nd Cpl. Edgar Knell was discharged from Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank, London, England on 3rd January, 1920 to “his home” pending his discharge in U.K. (22 Lucerne Road, Thornton Heath – home of Mrs Thornton). He was reported as dangerously ill.

He was granted a discharge from the Australian Imperial Force in the UK on 5th January, 1920.

Notification was sent to Mr E. A. Knell, Estate Agent, Ivanhoe, Victoria on 14th January, 1920 advising him that his son was suffering from Carcinoma Stomach & was dangerously ill. Later advice was sent to Base Records to advise that the initials of the father of 2nd Cpl. Edgar Norman Knell were “A. W.” & not “E. A.” Their records were noted on 27th January, 1920.

Ex-2nd Corporal Edgar Norman Knell, aged 25, died on 15th January, 1920 at 22 Lucerne Road, West Croydon (residence of Mrs Thornton) from Cancer of the stomach & Exhaustion. M. Thornton was present at the death, as noted on the death certificate.
He was buried in St. Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Harefield, Middlesex, England where 112 other WW1 Australian War Graves are located.

Mrs M. Thornton, of 22 Lucerne Road, Thornton Heath, wrote a letter on 19th January, 1920 which reads: “Dear Sir, Will you please accept my warmest thanks for all that you have had done, in connection with 182 (late) Cpl. E. N. Knell, whose funeral has taken place at Harefield today, for you kindness in letting me have him home from the Hospital at Millbank, that loving friends might tend him to the last, was a comfort to him & us too, for he has been as one of our own dear boys, during the last 12 months. Your Officers Captain Collie & W.O. Morris, have visited him frequently & been so kind. Will you kindly convey my thanks to Col. Jefferies also for his kindness.

(The above is a summary of my research. The full research can be found by following the link below)