Edmund Fisher: Thursday 16th November 1916
Eddie enlisted as a Private at 16 having lied about his age. When he died age 17 he was a 2nd Lieutenant with 3rd Batt (att. 8th Batt.) East Lancashire. He is buried in Waggon Road Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel.
The following account from the Regimental Diary the previous day indicates how Eddie may have died, “At 8.30am on 15 November 1916, after the preliminary bombardment of their objective Frankfurt Trench, the men advanced between Crater Lane and Lager Alley in two waves. In the fog they got to within 50 yards of Munich Trench, ‘A’ and ‘D’ Companies leading the way, followed by ‘B’ and ‘C’. Suddenly they were fired upon by machine guns and rifles at very short range. The men went to ground, before being forced to pull back. Ten of their officers were killed in this attack on the Redan Ridge between Serre and Beaumont Hamel. Allegations were made that many of the 150 casualties were caused by ‘friendly-fire’. The battalion’s second assault in the Somme battle had ended in failure.”
Eddie was the son of William Fisher a commercial clerk of 8 Loxley Road. In 1901 the family were living at 1 Anholt Road in Battersea. He was the youngest of at least 4 children with older siblings William, Grace and Edith. He was educated at Emmanuel School where he was an athletics champion.
As can be seen from details from Emmanuel School, Eddie was a keen sportsman, Captaining the XV Rugby team, and was credited as being one of the School’s best athletes – perhaps one of the best all-round athletes of his generation: “1915 Eddie won the School’s Athletics Challenge Cup after winning the 220 yards; Hurdle Race; High Jump; Long Jump and the 440 yards. His excellent form gained Emanuel the Challenge Cup at the Public Schools’ Athletic Sports. The Portcullis recorded that Fisher won: The 120 yards Open Hurdles, the Long Jump Open, the High Jump Open and the High Jump Under 16… E. Fisher won the Hurdles in fine style by about two hurdles in 17 4/5 seconds. His time might have been better if he had been hard pressed. His High Jump and Long Jump were not the best he had done, for at the School Sports his High Jump was 5ft.3. in., and his Long Jump 19ft. 5. in. At the Public Schools’ Sports, his High Jump was 5ft. 2ins. (tied) and Long Jump 19ft. 3. ins. This was undoubtedly owing to an accident which happened… about a week before the sports, which prevented him from training. The accident mentioned in the notes involved Eddie putting his head through the window of a railway carriage but no further details of how he managed it have come to light.”