Sold with an emotive contemporary photograph album, subject matter including the recipient's long period of convalescence back in the U.K. following the loss of his leg in the action which resulted in the award of his D.S.O.; two trench maps; an envelope containing a small length of D.S.O. ribbon, the cover inscribed, 'My first D.S.O. ribbon given to me by the General In Command and pinned on my pyjamas in Hospital at Rouen'; and a copy of the Regimental History of the West Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War, by Everard, Volume II, this with mention of the recipient's gallant exploits and margin annotation, 'Recommended V.C., later D.S.O.'.
D.S.O. London Gazette 26.8.1917 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Having gone out with an N.C.O. to reconnoitre the enemy's wire, they were attacked by bombs. The first one he seized before it exploded and threw it back, and, when the second one fell, realizing that they could not both escape unharmed, he threw his legs over it to cover the explosion, and thus protected the N.C.O. By his splended act of gallantry and self-sacrifice he saved the life of his comrade at the risk of his own. The N.C.O. was able to drag him back to our lines, where he showed great pluck by reporting the information which he had gained by his daring reconnaissance'.
The above mentioned West Yorkshires' Regimental History pays further tribute to Edwards' gallant deeds:
'During this tour a fine example of bravery was shown by a young Subaltern of the 2/7th West Yorkshires. On the night of 27-28 July 1917, 2nd Lieutenant C.G. Edwards was ordered to reconnoitre the enemy's wire and ascertain the strength of the garrison of a strong point in front of Riencourt. He was to go out at midnight, accompanied by an N.C.O. (Acting-Corporal C. Elsworth). 2nd Lieutenant Edwards left his post at the appointed hour, and creeping across No Man's Land reached the enemy's wire, which he examined closely, and then turned north to reconnoitre the remainder of the strong point. He had, however, gone but a few yards when, from a distance of about five yards away, two "stink" bombs were thrown at him. The first he caught and threw back in the direction from which it came. The second fell at his feet and, being unable to escape from it, with great bravery and presence of mind he placed his foot on it, thereby saving his own life and preventing Corporal Elsworth from being wounded. But this gallant act cost him his leg, for the bomb exploded, blowing his foot away and causing him terrible injuries. Unable of his own efforts to move, he was dragged back to the Battalion's trenches by Corporal Elsworth and, although suffering great pain, reported the information he had gained before being carried away on a stretcher'.
2nd Lieutenant Cyril George Edwards, D.S.O., went on to become the first man to undergo a blood transfusion at a Front Line Hospital, an event confirmed in a book by Professor Arthur Short, under the chapter heading 'Services to Medicine and Surgery':
'About this time, though scarcely anything had been published on the subject, we hear that experiments had been made at Base Hospitals with blood transfusions, though as far as I know, in the Summer of 1917, it had not been used at the Front Line Hospitals. We resolved to try. Methods had to be improvised. At the time we knew nothing about bloodgroups or incompatibilities. A Lieutenant named Edwards, whose leg had been shattered and who had bled so much that he was pulseless, was our first patient. A donor was obtained and we brought the two side by side, cut down on the radial artery of the donor and an arm vein of the recipient, under local anaesthesia, and joined the artery to vein by a short length of rubber tubing with a needle at each end. This crude method was very successful on that occasion. The Lieutenant's pulse improved a good deal, the amputation was carried out successfully and the donor was none the worse for it. We soon discovered, however, that some better technique would have to be found'.