I am trying to find any more information relating to Edward Hanks. The information I know is that he was in the Australian military during World War 1 and was based in Birmingham, England. I have been told that he was killed in a motorbike accident on Sunday March 26th 1922 in Birmingham, England a week before he was due to marry my Grandmother (Martha Sarah Ann Simmonds). All the marriage banns had been read in church (the last was Sunday March 26th 1922 before the marriage on March 31st 1922). He was killed on his way back to the barracks later that evening. I know that following the marriage both he and my grandmother were going to emigrate to Australia.

I am unable to find any military record for Edward, any record of his death/burial or any information on the regiment he was with whilst in Birmingham, England. I have been told by a military historian that the Australian Army were still in Birmingham, England in 1922.

Following the death of Edward my grandmother found out that she was pregnant with his child - who was born in December 1922.

Any help with this would be most appreciated.

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Just posting the link to your previous post to save anyone duplicating....


I have also been unable to find anything on this man. There is nothing at all in the available online newspapers for Warwickshire, I used every different combination of words that I can think of.  I would think that such a tragic story would have been widely reported.  The lack of a death registration is the big one though as there really is very little chance of the death not being registered.  Perhaps he just got cold feet and Martha has made up the story to cover her embarrassment.  Perhaps he was using a false name.  I see that she didn't name her son Edward.  Seems a bit odd.

Have you actually seen the banns recorded in the church register?

Thanks for your reply. I came across all the brick walls you have encountered re newspapers and death registration. I noticed that she didn't name her son Edward as this would have been practical. I do not know where she got the name from for her son as there is no history on the family of anyone having this name. My grandmother was adamant that it was Edward Hanks and she refered to him as Eddie Hanks. I have tried to locate the marriage banns as these would, hopefully, still exist even though a marriage may not happen as the banns need to be published beore any wedding. However, I have not been able to locate any banns on Ancestry or any other family history website. I have looked through the marriage banns regisiter for the local church but a lot of the records for this period are missing/were destroyed.

I have also tried to find out what Australian regiments were based in Birmingham, England in 1921/1922 but have not had any luck. I know that they had barracks over the Birmingham area and also a pub they may have used (ironically called The Australian - but now changed name).


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