24 September 1917 : Petty Officer (Acting) Tommy Egdell, DCM

Born in Alnwick, Northumberland 27 November 1877

One of ten children, of Robert (a labourer) and Thomasina (née Blyth) five boys and five girls born between 1875 and 1901 of New Row, Alnwick, Northumberland.

Tommy married Alice Allan (July 1900). At the 1901 Census he was an engine driver in a stone quarry. 

277 Maple Street, Ashington, Northumberland (c) Google Street View 2009


Before the war they lived in at 277, Maypole Street, Ashington where Tommy was a miner. They had a son, Edward, born 1904. 

Tommy enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers 2 September 1914. He was transferred to RNVR (Hood Battalion) 7 September 1914 and served in Antwerp then with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force later serving at Passchendaele. 

UK Citations for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914 to 1920

Tommy was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for action at Grancourt 3-5 February 1917. He was reported as missing in action on 22 September 1917, but it later transpired that wounded, he had been taken prisoner. He died of his wounds on 24 September 1917. 

Tommy was one of four sons his family to die during the First World War:

  1. Lance-Corporal Edward Walker Egdell (1881 to 1916) Died during the Battle of the Somme. 
  2. Captain John Egdell (1884 to 1917) Died during the Battle of Passchendaele.
  3. Private David James Blythe Egdell (1881 to 1918) Died on the Somme.


Brother George Egdell served and survived. He was wounded on 26 April 1915.

UK, World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923

Petty Officer (Acting) Tommy Egdell, DCM

24 September 1917

Thomas Egdell's mother Thomasina lost her husband, who died by natural causes, in July 1914. George was sounded in 1915 and survived the war, but she then lost her remaining sons to the war in 1916, 1917 (two sons) and in 1918. She had five daughters. 


Sources: England Census 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911; UK Citations of the Distinguished Medal; Bailiffgate collection