Private Edwin Standing

Regiment: 2nd Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment).
Service No.: 22355 (previously 5532)
Date and place of birth: 3rd qtr 1882 at Lurgashall
Date and place of death: 1 March 1919 (aged 42) at home in Trotton

Private Edwin Standing enlisted in his 30s as a married man with six children. He spent a few months serving in France in 1917 before he was discharged with diabetes mellitus. He died in Trotton after the war.

Family background

Edwin Standing was born at Lurgashall in the summer of 1882, the second child and first son of Henry Standing (1858–1937) and his wife, Frances née Kilhams (1856–1930). Henry Standing was born in Northchapel and married Frances, from Bury, in 1880. Their first child, Agnes, was born the following spring with Edwin being born the following year. The couple had a further seven children, of whom one died as a child.

At the 1881 census, a year before Edwin’s birth, his parents were living at Goffs Farm, just south of Northchapel on the road to Petworth, where Henry was employed as a farm labourer. In about 1890, the family moved to Chithurst, where they lived at Holm Hill with Henry continuing to work as a farm labourer. At the time of the 1901 census, Edwin was still living with his parents at Holm Hill and was employed as a bricklayer’s labourer, while Henry was now employed as a farm foreman.

On 3 October 1903, Edwin married Emily Jane Pullen, who had been born in Chithurst in 1879. The couple’s first child, Percy, was born on 10 January 1904, only three months after the marriage. The couple had a further five children, Mabel (born August 1905), Annie (born May 1907), Frederick (born May 1908), Lucy (born December 1912) and William Edwin (born June 1915).

At the 1911 census, Edwin and Emily were living at Trotton Marsh, a mile north-east of Rogate with their first four children, with Edwin employed as a domestic gardener. Edwin’s parents and three of their children lived a few doors away.

Military service

Edwin enlisted in The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) at Horsham on 11 December 1915 and was initially placed on reserve. At the time of his enlistment, he was 5ft 3 in and weighed 9st 10lb. On 3 July 1916, he was mobilized as part of the 4th Battalion. He remained in England undergoing training until 20 January 1917, when he was sent to France with the 2nd Battalion.

By this time, he was already showing signs of diabetes mellitus, which had first been diagnosed in a medical examination at Tunbridge Wells in December 1916. By May 1917, he was pronounced medically unfit and he was discharged on 9 June 1917 with a pension of £1 2s per week.

Death and commemoration

The grave of Edwin Standing in Trotton churchyard
The grave of Edwin Standing in Trotton churchyard

Edwin returned to Trotton where he died at home on 1 March 1919. He was buried in St George’s churchyard at Trotton. His grave bears the inscription: “I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come”. He is also commemorated on the Trotton war memorial.

As well as the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal, Edwin was awarded the Silver War Badge, which was issued to service personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness.

Other family members and subsequent family history

Edwin’s brother Henry Osborne (1886–1968) also served in the army during the war, originally enlisting with the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1915, before transferring to the East Surrey Regiment in 1916. He was captured in northern France in April 1918 and spent the remainder of the war in a prisoner of war camp. Another brother, Alfred John (1888–1977), served with the Royal Engineers between 1915 and 1919, while the youngest brother, Reginald (1899–1972) served with the Machine Guns Corps.

Edwin’s six children all remained in the local area surviving until the 1980s or 1990s. His widow, Emily, died on 23 Jun 1970 and is commemorated on his grave

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project