Special service held to remember Ryedale war hero

Gunner Edgar Cousins.
Gunner Edgar Cousins.

The life of a Ryedale war hero, whose grave was getting overgrown in a local churchyard, is to be celebrated in a service to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Gunner Edgar Cousins is the only Pickering man who died after active service during the Great War to be buried in the town.

He was wounded in France aged 35 and invalided back to England where, sadly, he later died. He was buried with full military honours.

Gunner Cousins served in the regular army and the reserves for more than 13 years, serving firstly in the 5th Yorkshire Regiment and later in the Royal Artillery.

A memorial service will be held in his memory on Saturday, November 10 at 10.45am at Gunner Cousins’ graveside at the rear of the church of St Peter and St Paul’s.

It will be a mark of respect for Edgar and the 78 other Pickering men who lost their lives serving their country a hundred years ago.

The service has been prompted by local historian and author Gordon Clitheroe.

He said: “I felt there was a real danger that Edgar’s contribution and indeed that of the others would not be properly recognised.

“Now, thanks to the community pulling together, a path to and from the grave has been cleared and tidied up and we can have a fitting, short service to remember Edgar and the men who sacrificed so much for us all.”

Other services will be taking place on Sunday 11 November across the region to mark the end of the First World War.