2nd Lieutenant Edmund De Wind VC was born in Comber, County Down, Ireland on 11 December 1883 to Arthur Hughes De Wind, C.E., and Margaret Jane De Wind. He was educated at Campbell College and then went to work for the Bank of Ireland, Clones branch.
De Wind was living in Canada in 1914 and working for the CIBC when World War I broke out. He served with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada for a period of six months prior to his enlistment as a private on 16 November 1914 with the 31st Battalion, Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. He arrived in France with 2nd Division of C.E.F. in September 1915. He saw action in the Battle of the Somme (1916) and at Vimy Ridge (1917). He earned a commission in September 1917 in the British Army.
His citation read:
For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice on the 21st March, 1918, at the Race Course Redoubt, near Grugies. For seven hours he held this most important post, and though twice wounded and practically single-handed, he maintained his position until another section could be got to his help. On two occasions, with two N.C.O.’s only, he got out on top under heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and cleared the enemy out of the trench, killing many. He continued to repel attack after attack until he was mortally wounded and collapsed. His valour, self-sacrifice and example were of the highest order.”