Lieutenant John Harold McKenzie Edwards, MC, DCM, MM, 21 Battalion, AIF. Edwards had changed his name and age when he enlisted in the AIF as a private in April 1915, giving his name as Harold Edwards and his age as 24. He served on Gallipoli and in France and was commissioned in 1917.
An outstanding infantryman, Edwards was retrospectively awarded the Military Medal for an unknown date at Gallipoli (845 Sergeant Jack Harold Edwards). He was also awarded the Distinguish Conduct Medal for his actions at Mouquet on 24/25 August 1916 and at Mouquet Farm on 26 August 1916 (845 Sergeant Harry Edwards). He was further awarded the Military Cross for his actions on 4 July 1918 near Villers Bretonneux (Lieutenant Harold Edwards).
Edwards was demobilized in Melbourne in August 1919 and served in the permanent army from 1921 to 1923, when he moved to New Guinea where he was employed by Burns Philp & Co. as a native labour overseer at Rabaul. On 13 October 1939 Edwards was appointed a lieutenant in the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles but was not called up for full-time duty. Edwards was officially presumed to have been one of about 200 Australian civilian prisoners of war who died on 1 July 1942 when the Japanese transport, the Montevideo Maru, was torpedoed by an American submarine off Luzon in the South China Sea during its journey from Rabaul to Hainan Island.
Jack was a Wharf Manager for Burns Philip at Rabaul, a busy PNG and international shipping port. Mrs Edwards passed away in the 1970s in her 103rd year. They had no children.
Photo from The New Guinea Volunteer Rifles by Ian Downs