Lieutenant Edward Arthur Atkinson, MC



Edward Arthur Atkinson was born on 30 November 1885 at Donaghcloney Rectory, Waringstown, Co. Down. His father was Edward Dupri Atkinson, Archdeacon of Dromore, and mother, Katherine Elizabeth Atkinson (nee L’Estrange). He was educated at St Columba's College and Dublin University, and then emigrated to Canada, where he became a rancher at Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.

On 23 December 1914 he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force - the 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles (No.114760). He arrived in England with his regiment on 3 December 1915.

In 1916 he applied for a commission and was sent to officer cadet school at Kildare. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 5 September 1916 and was posted to the North Irish Horse. After some months at the regiment's depot at Antrim, he joined the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment in the field on 1 April 1917. On 5 March 1918 he was promoted to lieutenant.

Atkinson saw considerable action with the regiment during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918. He was awarded a Military Cross

for conspicuous gallantry and good leadership ... from 22 August to 1 September 1918, especially on 23 August. When the left flank of a battalion was severely threatened, realising the situation, he, of his own initiative, led forward three Lewis gun teams under heavy fire and brought them into action, nullifying the attempts of the enemy to turn the flank, and enabling the battalion to hold its position.

Atkinson was demobilized on 29 Jan 1919 and resigned his commission at the end of that year. He then returned to Canada.

More images of Lieutenant Atkinson can be found here and here.