Edmund Thomas Cornish
Edmund Thomas Cornish was born in London, the first of three boys born to Phillip and Frances Cornish. The family emigrated to Australia when Edmund was 16.
21-year-old Edmund was one of the first men to enlist in Orange. He was living at 90 March Street and working as a labourer at Dalton Brothers’ mill at the time. He embarked from Sydney in October 1914 aboard HMAT A8 Argyllshire.
Edmund joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in April 1915, and proceeded to Gallipoli, where he survived a gunshot wound to his back. He received several promotions during his war service, from Gunner to Bombardier, then Corporal and later Sergeant.
In June 1917 Edmund was transferred to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade in Etaples, France, and in August to the Reserve Brigade Australia Artillery in England. Edmund returned to France in May 1918, only to be killed in action during the Battle of the Somme in August.
Edmund was well-liked by his comrades; one of them declared: “He was a very good fellow.”
Edmund’s name appears on the St Joseph’s Church Orange Honour Roll, alongside those of his brothers Walter and Thomas. Walter and Edmund’s names appear on the memorial plaque in Newman Park, along with 14 others who had 16 pin oak trees planted in their honour in August 1919 by East Orange Public School principal Mr AT Caldwell.
Edmund’s name also appears on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.
In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte E Cornish”; it was donated by WJ Eadey. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
Leader, 2 September 1918, p. 4.
Killed in action