Edward Smalley

Private, The Royal Dublin Fusiliers

(1888 - 1917)

Edward Smalley was born on August 15, 1888, in Elton, Huntingdonshire to Martha Haylock, age 41, and Skelton Smalley, age 67. He had one brother and one sister. In 1891 they had moved to Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire where Skelton was farming. In 1901 Skelton was farming at Pilsgate, Barnack, near Stamford, and 13 yr old Edward was being educated at Stamford Grammar School. In 1911 Edward was working on the farm. His father Skelton died in September 1912 aged 91.

Early in 1914 Edward took on a farm in Wadenhoe that had previously been run by JW Copley(in 1914 Kelly's Directory). Local farm worker George Hankins (1891-1989) remembers "a young man named Smalley took it. He was a real modern, go-ahead chap. Unfortunately he got killed in the war." Edward was unmarried.

The 26 yr old Edward had joined the Lincolnshire Yeomanry in November 1914; he enlisted No.RTS/1416 in the Army Service Corps(Remounts). He soon arrived in the war in France on December 10th 1914.

With his horse experience, in August 1916, aged 28, he was transferred to the 13th Hussars.

That was short-lived, because in November 1916 he was transferred to 2nd Btn(103rd Foot) The Royal Dublin Fusiliers, serving with the Expeditionary Force (Service No.28203). They were near the French border in West Flanders, Belgium.

In February 1917 he was wounded near Loker, West Flanders, Belgium, and returned to England. On his recovery, in September, aged 29, he returned to the war on the Somme, France.

He was Killed in Action on 24th December 1917 with the 2nd Btn as Brigade Reserve in a railway cutting at St Emilie; at 3.15pm the enemy heavily bombarded the railway cutting in which the Btn was billeted; the bombardment lasted an hour; the calibre of shell used was 5.9". 3 Other Ranks were KiA, 6 were WiA.

Edward was first buried at St.Emilie Rd Cemetery; then later his body was moved to Templeux-le-Guerard British Cemetery (II E 37) between Peronne & Hargicourt.

He was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He is remembered on the Barnack War Memorial.

There is a commemorative inscription carved on the side of the high altar in Barnack church. It reads...

'To the glory of God and in loving memory of Edward Smalley who was killed in action in France on Christmas Eve 1917 aged 28 years. This altar was erected by his mother Martha Smalley and his sister Edith Ogle Wallace & brother Frank Smalley. R.I.P.'

It is believed the Ogle Wallaces lived in Cedar Tor, now called Cedar House, opposite the church.

Edward Smalley is also remembered on Wadenhoe's War Memorials......


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