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Edgar Kinghorn MYLES (1894-1977)

Biographical Details

Lieutenant Edgar Kinghorn Myles, VC, DSO (1894-1977), was a colleague of Cyril Sladden in the 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.

Edgar Myles was born on 29th July 1894 in East Ham, Essex, the youngest of three children and only son of Andrew Kinghorn Myles, a London County Council schoolteacher, and his wife, Agnes Jane. At the time of the 1901 and 1911 census, Edgar was living with his family at 147 Milton Avenue, East Ham.

On the outbreak of the First World War, Myles enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment on 20th August 1914. He obtained a temporary commission as 2/Lieutenant in The Worcestershire Regiment on 20th November 1914. It was during this period, whilst still in England, that Cyril Sladden first met Myles.

Promoted Lieutenant in the Regiment on 22nd July 1915 Myles was then given a regular commission in The Welch Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant on 7th January 1916 with seniority from 4th December 1915.

He was transferred to The Worcestershire Regiment in the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Aged only 21, he was awarded the Victoria Cross at Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia, on 9th April, 1916, whilst the 9th Battalion were trying to relieve Kut. The citation reads: "Edward Kinghorn Myles, Lieutenant The Welch Regiment for most conspicuous bravery. He went out alone on several occasions in front of our advance trenches, and, under heavy rifle fire and at great personal risk, assisted wounded men lying in the open. On one occasion he carried in a wounded officer to a place of safety under circumstances of great danger." He was also hit by enemy fire while carrying a wounded man, but staggered on and brought him to safety. (Technically Lieutenant Myles was an Officer of the Welsh Regiment, to which he had been gazetted; but he had served throughout the war with the 9th Worcestershire Regiment, and was afterwards transferred to the Worcestershire Regiment.)

Myles was promoted Lieutenant on 12th January 1917. During the first fortnight of 1917, the 9th Battalion of the Worcesters were involved in preparations for a systematic attack on the Hai Salient in Mesopotamia. On 25th January 1917, an assault at Kut-Al-Amara was launched, with Myles as the senior officer and acting Captain. He was wounded during the attack and sent to India to convalesce; he did not return to duty until September of that year. He was awarded the DSO for his conduct on 25th January. The Citation reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When all the officers except two had become casualties, he, for five hours, inspired confidence in the defence against two counter-attacks and sent back most accurate and valuable reports of the situation. His courage and fine example were largely responsible for the steadiness of all ranks under him."

Edgar Myles remained in the army after the war. He was transferred to The King's Liverpool Regiment on 9th May 1923. Promoted Captain on 22nd February 1925, he retired on 10th March 1928.

Edgar died on 31st January 1977 at Huntley British Legion Home, Bishopsteignton, Devon; the funeral service took place at Torbay and he was cremated at Torquay Crematorium.

In November 1960, Edgar Myles’ decorations and medals came on the market. They were bought by The Worcestershire Regiment and are now on display in the City Museum in Worcester.

Further details about his life may be found on the Worcestershire Regiment website.

Article in The Evesham Journal, 14th April 2016, © The Evesham Journal


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