Edmund also joined the militia in Toronto and served with the Queens Own Rifles for about 6 months before he and his brother ventured off to Edmonton, where Edmund, and possibly his brother, found more work with another branch of the same bank.
On 29 May 1915 the SS Northland set sail for Liverpool. This vessel had a series of owners and even sailed under three different names, its middle being the Northland. It was at the time under British control but operated under the White Star Dominion Line. And on board was a Private by the name of Edmund de Wind. (The ship is pictured above)
After additional training in Britain, de Wind's unit would sail for France in mid September of 1915. He would stay with the unit till 1917 and fight in one of its Machine Gunner's platoons of C Company in numerous battles including at Ypres, the Somme and St Eloi. His bravery was recognized a number of times and he would be mentioned in at least one dispatch (MID) to higher authorities at the Front. In 1917 he qualified for extra training to get a commission and was sent back to England, took his commissioning course at Bramshot England, and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. he was then transferred to a British Regiment... the 17th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles and shipped back to the front lines in France. In December he would be transferred over to the 15th (North Belfast) Battalion of Rifles.
DeWind was actually first reported Missing in Action, but after the war, when comrades were liberated, some came forth with the incredible tales of his heroism, and thus the later date of the VC awarding.
Three months later DeWind's mother was invited to Buckingham Palace and on June 19th she was presented the Victoria Cross posthumously by King George V.
There is no known grave for Edmund DeWind, but he is commemorated with an enscription that he is Missing in Action, at the Pozieves Memorial which is located within the larger Australian cemetery at Pozieves France. There are over 14,000 soldiers buried there, with some 2786 in the Commonwealth cemetery and of these there are at lests 1380 unknowns who's names are suitably enscribed on part of the monument.
Memorials for DeWind are numerous. In Canada's Jasper Park there is a Mount deWind which stands some 8,000 feet high. A Pillar at the entrance to the St Ann's Cathedral in Belfast has an insciption in his honur. In his home town of Comber Ireland there is a street named after him. In it's town squere there once stood a german artillery gun dedicated to his honour, complete with inscription. But this was removed in WW11 to melt down for medal to be used for ammunition. Some side plates remain in its place with inscriptions. The Parish church has a tablet in his honour. And in the same town an Ulster Historical Circular Blue Plaque is also mounted on a wall in his honour. These have been in existence dating back to the mid 1800's and designate places, and more recenlty people of historic significance.
When this plaque was unveiled in 2007, a grand niece, and her family from Washington state arrived to officially take part in the unveiling. Among her words were these... "This plaque, along with the rosters at the Somme Historical centre remind us of these individuals. So when I salute you as mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, it is in recognition that we are a world community and because of them, we have this world that they gave their lives for."
Edmund deWind is pictured here as a 2nd Lieutenant and probably with one of the Irish units, just before his death in 1918... he died in the battle of Mar 21, 1918... 95 years ago yesterday.
His medals are proudly held in Belfast Ireland by the Royal Ulster Rifles Regimental Museum.
Pictured here, from left to right are his Victoria Cross, the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. Not shown, and belonging afixed to the ribbon of the last medal is the Bronze leaf indicating that Edmund deWild was a recipient of the MID medal from bravery.