Sparkes: Edward Charles

Born in London, England, on 20th March 1891, Edward Sparkes emigrated to South Australia in 1910.

Married to Florence and a father of two, Edward was a Railway Porter in the South Australian Railways before enlisting in the Railway Company as Sapper 2828, A.I.F. on 20th August 1918.

According to his enlistment details, Edward was 5’8” tall (173cm), weighed 145lbs (approx. 68kg), had dark brown hair, brown eyes and was a member of the Church of England. Two of his brothers also served in the AIF and a third was killed in action in the British Army.

Edward embarked for overseas service on the HMAT Zealandic on 5th October 1918, arriving in Britain on the 6th December after hostilities had ceased. He remained in camp during the Xmas / New Year period and is recorded as having been Absent Without Leave for more than four hours on 25th January 1919. This crime carried the penalty of the loss of 7 days pay (Field Punishment No. 2). 

Shortly after this, on 14th February, Edward fell ill, was admitted to hospital and subsequently died from influenza on 22nd February 1919, aged 28 years.

Edward Charles Sparkes was given a full military funeral and is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pilbright, Surrey, England. His widow received his Memorial Plaque and medal in 1922.

Research by Geoff Lock, 2015