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Joseph Rush Edwards–Wounded in Crimea

March 17, 2014

Joseph Rush Edwards (1829-1906)

Joseph Rush Edwards was born in March 1829 in Shropshire, England and came to Canada in 1886.
He was married to Caroline (Laurence) Holland, a widow with children. Caroline was also Shropshire-born.  Before marrying JR Edwards, Caroline lived with four grown children in the Vancouver household headed by her married son, 22-year old John Holland. 

The Edwards maintained a small acreage in Section 27 on the Yale Road, bought from John Douglas. Edwards is also on record as homesteader of Section 35 in Township 2.   This was further out on the Yale road,  at Johnston road (152 St).

He appears to have divided his time between the two locations, sharing the  work with his wife.

In his homestead statement in 1901, Edwards declared of his blended family:

“Wife and nine children living. Only one of them a son being with us now. The others are away doing for themselves.”

On the census for 1901, a Marvin Anderson, a ten year old adopted son, was living with the elderly couple.

John Douglas wrote that when Edwards was not on his homestead, he was “usually working on roads and on part  Sec 27 B5N R2W on Yale road.”

George Troughton also vouched for Edwards and said he “had about 5 acres cleared” on his homestead.

Both Douglas and Troughton had known Edwards about 10 years and all kept houses on Section 27.

Joseph Rush Edwards, who gave his occupation as "Miner,"   was a veteran of the Crimean War. Many of the Royal Engineers who came to British Columbia in 1858-1859 had also served in Crimea. The war had ended in 1856.

Joseph R Edwards was elected to five consecutive terms as a Trustee  of the Brownsville School District, beginning in 1898.

Edwards died on August 15, 1906.

An interesting recollection of Joseph Rush Edwards came to the fore as a reporter wrote up an timely account of his passing.


Veteran Dead
Joseph Edwards, Old Timer
Dies This Morning on
Yale Road


“Joseph Edwards, Yale road, known to almost everybody in New Westminster, died at an early hour this morning from heart failure.
The deceased was 77 years of age, but was particularly hale and active.
He was a veteran of the Crimean war in which he was twice wounded. One wound was in his right leg, between the ankle and the knee, from which the bone did not knit. He could move the bone of the upper part of the leg quite independently of his foot, but in despite of this he was able walk with the best.
With his wife, he had a farm on the Yale road for many years, but he spent considerable time in the city.
He was an enthusiastic hunter and a dead shot with a gun or rifle.
About a month ago his house was destroyed by fire, but he was rebuilding.
He was in town a week ago and had been confined to his bed only a day.
His death took place at the home of a neighbor, Mr. J. Thompson, with whom he was living till his house was rebuilt. He married a widow, Mrs Holland, who survives him.”


1906 08 15 Joseph Rush Edwards obitJR Edwards obituary:

"Edwards–At the residence of J. Thompson, Yale road, on the 15th inst., Joseph Rush Edwards, a native of Shropshire, England, aged 77 years."

Edwards funeral was "largely attended by friends in the city and neighbors from the Yale road."


Caroline Edwards & Maria Holland

Mrs Caroline Edwards lived on until 1918, residing with her son George Holland, daughter-in-law Maria and granddaughter Emily Alice on the Yale road acreage now known as Holland Park.

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