Retired Stone social worker makes amazing First World War discovery

Retired Stone social worker makes amazing First World War discovery

Sheila Davies' grandmother lost five grandsons in the First World War.

Edward Geernaert was killed in 1918.

The Menin Gate (image by PMRMaeyaert).

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A retired Bexley social worker from Stone made a remarkable discovery on a recent visit to the battlefields of Ypres.

Sheila Davies’ great-great-great grandmother Charlotte Geernaert lost five grandsons in the First World War.

Ms Davies, who lives in Kirby Road, Stone, took part in a Dartford Council-funded trip over June 4 and 5 to the Somme battlefield.

Though she couldn’t find any of her ancestor's names on gravestones or memorials there, a researcher pointed her in the direction of Ypres.

When taking her own trip to Belgium just days later, Ms Davies spotted Edward Douglas Geernaert inscribed on the famous Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.

News Shopper:

Edweard Geernaert's name on the Menin Gate. 

The great-grandmother of three said: "On the very last panel I looked at I found him. It was absolutely amazing.

"I have nine grandchildren which is why I feel an affinity with Charlotte.

"I don’t know how I would feel if I lost five of them, it would be absolutely terrible."

Edward was just 18 when he was killed fighting for the Royal Canadian Artillery in 1918.

He was one of three brothers and two cousins - all grandchildren of Colchester-born Charlotte, who married Belgian immigrant John Joseph Geernaert after he moved to Britain in 1852.

Ms Davies leads Dartford’s poppy appeal for the Royal British Legion.

Tree campaign

News Shopper’s parent company Newsquest has teamed up with the Woodland Trust to promote the Dedicate a Tree campaign that runs until Remembrance Sunday in November.

Readers can purchase a tree for £20 and leave a message dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War I.

Visit woodlandtrust.org. uk/donate/dedicate-a-tree

Motorists can now challenge parking tickets for £5

News Shopper: One of the parking warning signs

11:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

A company is offering to challenge parking tickets for a fee of just £5.

Police call in divers in search for missing Greenhithe man, Patrick Lamb

News Shopper:

4:52pm Friday 19th December 2014

Police investigating the disappearance of a man from Greenhithe have called in specialist police divers to investigate an area in Maidstone.

UPDATE: Four people in hospital following four-car crash on M25 at Swanley

News Shopper:

1:14pm Friday 19th December 2014

A four-car pile up is causing chaos on the M25 between Swanley and Darenth.

UPDATE: Man rushed to hospital after car flips over on the A2 near Darenth

News Shopper: Ambulance service says use 999 wisely in coming days

12:22pm Friday 19th December 2014

A man has been rushed to hospital after a car flipped over on to its roof on the A2 eastbound near Darenth this morning (Dec 19).

5 Thoughts: Travellers fighting back, another UKIP gaffe and more

News Shopper:

10:32am Friday 19th December 2014

Each week I share my five thoughts – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:53pm Tue 5 Aug 14

R_U_Serious says...

Ahem - http://www.cwgc.org/

Panel 18 - 28 - 30. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

;-)
Ahem - http://www.cwgc.org/ Panel 18 - 28 - 30. YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL ;-) R_U_Serious
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree