- Crimean Medal 1854-6
- Turkish Crimea Medal
Edwin Davis was born at Stonehouse in Gloucester on the 10th May 1836. His father was a bookseller and Edwin was one of six children. Edwin, 5 feet 5 inches tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes, began his working life as a labourer.
In 1853, aged 17, he left Gloucester and joined the regiment. He soon found himself on a ship bound for the Crimea. The clasps on 2823 Private Edwin Davis’ Crimea medal show that he fought at the battles of Alma and Inkerman.
Edwin then endured a winter of trench warfare as the Allies besieged the port of Sevastopol. During the siege 120 kilometres of trenches were dug and over 5 million shells were fired. Just like the trench warfare of the First World War the conditions were appalling.
Edwin experienced a shortage of rations, no winter clothing, no tents, limited medical supplies and fuel for cooking. Poorly clothed and lacking shelter his health, like thousands of soldiers, began to fail.
In January 1855 he was sent back to England for treatment at the Royal Chelsea Hospital. His medical records indicate that for several months he required treatment for severe ulcerations. An erysipic infection in his left leg, which would have been very difficult to treat before the invention of anitbiotics, led the medical board to conclude that Edwin was ‘quite unfit for further service’.
Edwin was discharged from the army, aged 20, in 1856. He disappears from the records for the next 35 years. However, the 1891 census shows that Edwin had made a new life for himself. The census records that Edwin was the landlord of The Jolly Fisherman in Hastings, East Sussex living with his wife Annie and son William.