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St Bees Dead of World War II

Roll of Honour

First radio Officer EDWARD MASON COWARD

S. S. TRAVELLER (Liverpool) Merchant Navy
who died aged 20 on 26th. January 1942

Son of Mary Coward

Remembered with Honour



Forty-four men and women with the surname Coward were lost in the war. This is the only one with an E for the first initial – and ‘Edward Mason Coward’ ties in exactly with the ‘E.M. Coward’ inscribed on the Memorial.

However, the official record gives us no address for this Edward Mason Coward, and his death is not mentioned in the Local Press of the time. Furthermore "The Whitehaven News" noted in 1944 that John Jackson was the third St. Beghian to be killed, the others being "Lant" Bell and Alan Rodgers. By ‘St. Beghian’ they cannot have meant a St. Bees School pupil, for none of these three went there. So for the newspaper to be correct, E.M. Coward must have outlived John Jackson, which this E.M. Coward did not

There is just the possibility that our E.M. Coward came from outside the village (perhaps Rottington or Sandwith?) and therefore the newspaper did not count him as a St. Beghian. But I have heard of no Coward family in an outlying area, whereas I am told there were Cowards in Lonsdale Terrace.

Therefore whilst I think it likely, I cannot assert that the E.M. Coward on our Memorial is First Radio Officer Edward Mason Coward. If anyone can throw any new light on the matter, I shall be very pleased to hear.

Lancelot Thomas Bell Edward Mason Coward John Benn Jackson George Lancaster J S Parker Thomas Pink Alan Rodgers Rev Harold Watson Christine Mary Frank Kitchen