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Edgar Abbott

Edgar AbbottSergeant Edgar Abbott, MM, 4541381, 1st Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment.

Edgar Abbott was born in Ossett on the 6th March 1918, the only son of Thomas Abbott and his wife Annie (nee Norton), who had married in the Ossett area in 1916. Edgar had an older sister, Nellie Abbott who was born on the 22nd October 1916, also in the Ossett area.

In 1939, Edgar was living with his widowed mother Annie Abbott (born 1890) at 65, The Green, Ossett and he was working as a machine minder in a textile mill. His sister Nellie Abbott married Frank W. Fozard in the Ossett area in 1940 and the couple had two sons: David, born in 1944 and John, born in 1953.

After his WW2 service, Edgar Abbott married Florence Speight in early 1951 in the Horbury area, but there appear to be no children from the marriage.

Edgar Abbott served with the 1st Battalion of the (Prince of Wales's Own) West Yorkshire Regiment who served in Burma from December 1943 to August 1945 and endured fierce fighting against the retreating Japanese. It is likely that Sergeant Abbott won his Military Medal during the Battle of Imphal in 1944. He was wounded three times within the space of one year during his WW2 service in Burma.

The Battle of Imphal took place in the region around the city of Imphal, the capital of the state of Manipur in northeast India from March until July 1944. Japanese armies attempted to destroy the Allied forces at Imphal and invade India, but were driven back into Burma with heavy losses. Together with the simultaneous Battle of Kohima on the road by which the encircled Allied forces at Imphal were relieved, the battle was the turning point of the Burma Campaign, part of the South-East Asian Theatre of the Second World War. The defeat at Kohima and Imphal was the largest defeat to that date in Japanese history, with many of the Japanese deaths resulting from starvation, disease and exhaustion suffered during their retreat

The "Ossett Observer" had this report 1 of the award of the Military Medal to Sergeant Abbott.

"Ossett Sergeant Gets Military Medal - Sergeant E. Abbott (27), 1st Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, South-East Asia Command, son of Mrs. Abbott, 65, The Green, Ossett and the late Mr. Thomas Abbott, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in action.

Educated at South Ossett C. of E. School, he was employed by Walter Walker, yarn spinners, until he joined up five years last January. He has served 3½ years in Burma, and has campaigned throughout that period, the exploit for which he now receives the award occurring last year. In a letter received by his sister on Thursday, he states that has also been given immediate Mention in Despatches, with permission to wear the emblem. He adds that it has just been announced that the period of duty in Burma has been fixed at three years and four months, so that much to his surprise, he should be home by August 1945. He also states that a recent medical examination found him to be in very good health."

Edgar Abbott died in the June quarter of 1979 at the age of 61 in the Wakefield area.

My thanks to Anne-Marie Fawcett for providing the "Ossett Observer" reference for Sergeant Edgar Abbott.

References:

1. "Ossett Observer", June 22nd 1945