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

Greenhithe woman is Simon Cowell's 'idea of hell'

News Shopper:

1:55pm Wednesday 1st October 2014

A woman from Greenhithe has been branded Simon Cowell's 'idea of hell' after appearing on this year's X Factor.

5 thoughts of the week: Old people's health woes, tattoos harming job prospects and more

News Shopper:

11:09am Wednesday 1st October 2014

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

14 things to see and do this week (and next) in south east London and north Kent

News Shopper:

9:17am Wednesday 1st October 2014

Vibe's picks of what to get upto over the next week or so across south east London and north Kent.

Delay in Stone Crossing footbridge build slammed by council and MP

News Shopper:

8:29am Wednesday 1st October 2014

A five-year delay in the building of a promised footbridge at Stone Crossing has been slammed by the council chairman and local MP.

Stat Chat: Fear of terrorism rises but what else are we afraid of?

News Shopper:

6:30am Wednesday 1st October 2014

Every day we pull some stats from a survey and say have a chat about the findings. Today: What we’re most afraid of.

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