Leading Aircraftman Roy Cecil Edwards, the son of Frank Edwards and Maggie Birdsall Edwards (nee Greenbury), was born at Toowoomba in Queensland on 15th September 1920. He was educated at the Newtown State School during the years 1932-1934 and the Toowoomba Grammar School during 1935-1936. Whilst a student at Toowoomba Grammar he served two years in the Grammar School Cadet Corps. After leaving school he studied Shorthand & Typing at the Toowoomba Technical College. He entered employment as a Cadet Engineer/Draughtsman at the Toowoomba Foundry and he was tutored in engineering at the Toowoomba Foundry Engineering School. He applied for aircrew training in the Royal Australian Air Force on 25th September 1941. At the time of his application he was residing with his family at 40 Vacy Street, Toowoomba.
Leading Aircraftman Roy Edward’s application for aircrew training was unsuccessful and he subsequently enlisted in the Citizen Air Force of the Royal Australian Air Force as a member of ground crew at No. 3 Recruiting Centre in Brisbane on 3rd December 1943 after swearing the statutory oath of allegiance. He gave his next of kin as his father, Mr Frank Edwards, residing at 40 Vacy Street, Toowoomba. His physical description at the time of his enlistment was that he was 5 feet 7 inches in height and weighed 147 pounds. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. He stated that he was of the Methodist religion. He was allotted the service number of 440278 and joined No. 3 Initial Training School at Kingaroy in Queensland on 4th December 1943. He successfully remustered to aircrew training on 19th January 1944. He joined No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School at Narromine in New South Wales on 2nd March 1944 where he did a fourteen week training course to prepare him for service as a pilot. After completing his training there he joined No. 2 Embarkation Depot at Bradfield Park in Sydney on 5th May 1944.
Leading Aircraftman Roy Edwards joined No. 2 Initial Training School at Lindfield in New South Wales on 25th June 1944. He joined No. 1 Air Observer School at Evans Head in New South Wales for training in navigation and bombing skills on 24th July 1944. Leading Aircraftman Roy Edwards was one of four crew members and a female passenger of a No. 1 Air Observation School Anson Aircraft LT781 that departed the Royal Australian Air Force Base at Evans Head in New South Wales on a non-operational navigational exercise. The aircraft crashed at Glen Innes in New South Wales on 11th September 1944 at 0746 hours when its pilot, disobeying flying instructions, struck a shed whilst low flying causing it to disintegrate and it crashed on a house south west of the town and caught alight. A funeral was arranged for the five personnel on Wednesday 13th September 1944. Roy Edwards was laid to rest at the Evans Head War Cemetery in New South Wales. At the time of his death he was 23 years of age. His headstone contains the personal inscription: “His Duty Fearlessly Done Ever Remembered”.
Newspaper Item. Mr and Mrs F. Edwards, of 40 Vacy Street, Toowoomba, have received word that their third son, Leading Aircraftman Roy Cecil Edwards, was killed in an aircraft accident on September 7. He was serving with the R.A.A.F. Leading Aircraftman Edwards was an old boy of the Toowoomba Grammar School and was employed at the Toowoomba Foundry before his enlistment. He was 23 years of age.
Roy Edwards’ name is commemorated on Panel No. 115 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and locally on the Toowoomba Mothers’ Memorial, the Toowoomba Soldiers’ Memorial Hall Honour Board, the Newtown State School Honour Stone and the Toowoomba Grammar School World War 2 Honour Board. For his service during World War 2 Roy Edwards had entitlement for the War Medal.
Leading Aircraftman Roy Edwards is mentioned several times in the Evans Head Living Museum publication “Wings at War – R.A.A.F. Evans Head – 1939-1945”. ISBN 0-9757181-0-X.
Toowoomba Grammar archive records show that he enrolled as a day student at the School on 31st January 1935 and left the School on 1st June 1936. His parent was shown as Mr Frank Edwards, 40 Vacy Street, Toowoomba. After leaving school he was employed as an Engineer at the Toowoomba Foundry and he was a member of the Institute of Automotive Engineers.