Rank or Title
Date of Birth
21 Oct 1890
Date of Death
31 Oct 1914
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Lieutenant Edmund Elgood Punchard, son of a former Vicar of Christ Church, Luton, was killed in action with the 2nd Battalion Beds Regt (21st Brigade, 7th Division) at Ypres on October 31st, 1914. He had just celebrated his 24th birthday.
He was shot leading his platoon in an attack on a ridge near Zandvoorde and was buried at Kruiseck, near Gheluvelt [Geluveld]. He was mentioned in Sir John French's despatch on January 14th, 1915.
Lieut Punchard was born at Christ Church Vicarage in Luton on October 21st, 1890. He was educated at Haileybury (1902-1908) and at Sandhurst (1909-1910). He obtained a commission in the Beds Regt in October 1910 and became a lieutenant in June 1912. He served with his battalion in Bermuda (1910-1911) and in South Africa (1912-1914), being Brigade Signaller at Pretoria (1913-1914).
His father, the Rev Canon Dr Elgood George Punchard, who was Vicar of Christ Church from 1883 until he resigned in 1902 to become Canon of Ely and Vicar of St Mary's Church, Ely, later sent a record of his son's experiences to Alfred Hayward, of the Sugar Loaf Hotel, 13 King Street, Luton.
The account, reprinted in The Luton News, said Lieut Punchard left Southampton on Sunday, October 4th with 14 transports but had to return to Dover on the 6th because of submarine activity. On the 7th and 8th they left again, and arrived at Zeebrugge [Belgium].
The record then traced the movement of the battalion to Bruges, Ostend, back to Bruges, and then retreats on October 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th to Beernem, Coolscamp, Roulers and Ypres. On the 15th they entered Halte on the Menin-Ypres road, on the 16th there was a skirmish with Uhlans at Ghelnveldt, and on the following day at the same place the battle of Ypres began.
On Sunday, October 18th, they advanced to Terhand, and the next day retired to Ghelnveldt, where on the the 20th they were under heavy fire till dusk. The record then traced the battle day by day to October 31st, when the ridge was won but Lieut Punchard was shot.
On Sunday, November 1st, there was a muster of the 300 survivors of the battalion, which had only one officer left.