Today Association members honoured the memory and bravery of a KOYLI soldier 100 years after he received the country's highest award for valor.
At the war memorial in Armley Park Association members from West Leeds Branch along with KOYLI retired Officers Lt Col Robin Smith MBE, TD, DL and Major Tim Crowther joined and The Lord Mayor of the City of Leeds, Cllr. Jane Dowson, family members of Pte Edwards for the unveiling ceremony of the VC Centenary Stone in honour of Pte Edwards' gallantry during WWI. KOYLI Standards from West Leeds and Pontefract, carried by Brian Clayton and Colin Cranswick, were joined by a British Legion Standard from Mirfield. Following a speech by the Lord Mayor of the City of Leeds, Bugler Craig Rosser, of the Veteran Buglers Association of the LT DIV and Rifles Buglers Association, sounded Last Post and Reveille.
The VC Centenary Stone was unveiled by the great great grandchildren on Pte Edwards VC. After VC Citation was read by Col Robin Smith KOYLI, wreaths were laid by the Lord Mayor, 3 great great grandchildren of Pte Edawards VC, Col Robin Smith on behalf of the KOYLI Association, and by the Royal British Legion. The Grandson of Pte Edwards VC spoke about the pride the family have for Wilfred
Edwards VC. He thanked: everyone involved in the organisation of the ceremony; everyone who participated in it and everyone who attended to honour the gallantry of his grandfather.
Wilfred Edwards was born in Norwich but moved to Leeds aged 3, and lived in Wortley. He enlisted in September 1914 and was first posted in 1915. After WWI Wilfred work for Leeds Gas Department before enlisting again at the beginning of WWII, during which he rose to the rank of Major.
On 26 August, in the Norwich the city of his birth, another VC Centenary Stone will be unveiled by the City of Norwich. By invitation of the City of Norwich the Association will be represented by The RIFLES County Secretary, Bob Roberts, The Regimental Association Secretary, Colin Cranswick who will also carry the KOYLI Standard, and Brian Clayton who will read the VC Citation.
The VC Action
"For most conspicuous bravery when under heavy machine gun and rifle fire from a strong concrete fort. Having lost all his company officers, without hesitation he dashed forward at great personal risk,
bombed through the loopholes, surmounted the fort, and waved to his company to advance. By his example, he saved a most critical situation at a time when the whole battalion was held up and a leader was needed. Three officers and thirty other ranks were taken prisoner by him in the fort. Later, Private Edwards did most valuable work as a runner, and he eventually guided most of the battalion out through very difficult ground. Throughout he set a splendid personal example to all, and it was utterly regardless of danger".
Pte Wilfred Edwards VC 7KOYLI, an inspiration to all, a family man, A Hero. Cede Nullis.