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Edmund Lester was from Kirkham, Lancashire in around 1868/9.

The following information is from Wikipedia;

Edmund Lester was an English professional footballer who played as a centre forward. He played for Fleetwood Rovers before moving to Football League First Division side Burnley in March 1898. He played his only senior match for Burnley on 1 April 1899 in the 0–1 defeat away at Sheffield Wednesday. Lester left the club in May 1899, and his whereabouts thereafter are untraced.

South Africa, Boer War

A notice in a local newspaper on 27th December 1899 stated that the Sheppy United player, Edmund Lester had received orders to report to the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment headquarters on Saturday, ready for service in South Africa.

Edmund was in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, during the Boer War he was stationed in Malta guarding prisoners. There is a photo of Edmund in Malta playing football for the Loyal North Lancs team.

The Great War

Edmund Lester re-enlisted with the 4th Territorial Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 3rd August 1914.

Edmund sailed for France with the 1/4th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 4th May 1915.

Tuesday 15th June 1915, Battle of Festubert

In ‘A’ Company, Lieutenant Smith was in charge of the trench mortar team during the bombardment, firing from the fire trench. When the order to charge was given. Lieutenant Smith rushed forward with his gun, and was seriously wounded when carrying it across the open. He died in hospital at Lillers two days later, and was buried there. C.Q.M.S. Lester and Private Cowburn brought him in to L 8.

Serjeant Lester was awarded the French Croix de Guerre, and the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his gallant actions at Festubert the previous June.

On 2nd December 1915, at BOUZINCOURT, C.Q.M.S. E. Lester was presented with the Croix de Guerre for conspicuous bravery at Festubert on June 15th. This ceremony took place on Battalion parade.

In March 1916 his Distinguished Conduct Medal was published in the London Gazette. The citation for his DCM reads;



Edmund Lester was awarded his DCM at a ceremony on the Blackpool promenade on 18th March. Around 300 soldiers  and officers of the 3/4th Bn marched with drums, the awarding officer was their C.O. Colonel Gratton. This ceremony was the first of its type to be held in Blackpool and attracted huge crowds. Along with Edmund, Company Serjeant Major C.C Lindsay of Preston was also honoured with the same award for his part in the same action.

In 1917, he was given the new-style Army TF number 200112. He was appointed the Company Quarter Master Serjeant.

Edmund Lester was discharged on 19th December 1917 due to him now being 49 years old. He was given Silver War Badge number 292909.

For his War service, Edmund received the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914/15 star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and French Croix de Guerre.


Unfortunately his service papers have not survived.

Paul McCormick
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