Round bronze commemorative plaque inscribed "Edwin Rowland Mainman. He Died For Freedom And Honour". Pictured on the plaque is Britannia and a lion. The plaque comes with a letter from King George V, stating "I join with my grateful people in sending you this memorial of a brave life given for others in the Great War."
This memorial plaque is popularly known as a "dead man's penny", issued post World War I to the next-of-kin of all British and Empire military killed while serving in the war. It was inscribed with the soldier's name and came with a scroll and letter of gratitude from King George V. Poor recompense, some felt, for the loss of a loved one.
This plaque is for Edwin Rowland Mainman. Edwin was born in 1886 at Knaresborough, England. In 1907 he emigrated to Australia and then to New Zealand. At the time of his enlistment in 1916 in the Canterbury Infantry Regiment he was working as a groom at the government Experimental Farm in Levin.
News that he would shortly be shipping out to the war precipitated his marriage to sweetheart, Pearl Blanche Nicholas of Rangiora; the couple applied on the 29th March 1917 to be married without the reading of banns, and married the following day at St Pauls, Wellington.
Less than a month later into his marriage, Edwin joined New Zealand troops heading to France. He landed in France on the 23rd September 1917 and was killed 20 days later at Passchendaele, 12th October 1917.
His widow, Pearl, received his commemorative plaque in 1922. Edwin is mentioned on the Tyne Cot memorial in Belgium and included on the Roll of Honour in his home town, Knaresborough. Pearl, then aged 36, went on to marry World War I veteran, Joseph Chambers Thompson in 1929.