Driver Edward Marney

Date of Birth c.1897
Age at Death 21
Date of Death 08 April 1918
Service Number 158900
Military Service A Battery, Royal Horse Artillery
Merton Address 33 Queens Road, Mitcham
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Born in Epsom in 1898, Edward was the son of Edward and Ellen Marney. The couple also had an older daughter, Susan. Records show that in 1901 the family was living in a caravan at Half Mile Hill, Beddington, Surrey. Edward’s father was a Hawker, selling baskets and small hand-made goods around the country, travelling either on foot or by horse-drawn wagon. The nature of this work and the birthplaces of Ellen and the children (Epsom and Kent ) suggest that the family may have had gypsy heritage – however we cannot be certain of this.

Evidence suggests that Edward snr may have died in 1909 and by 1911 Ellen had married James Green. Edward jnr. and his sibling were now living with their mother and stepfather in a caravan at Netty Heath, Surrey. All the family members were now working as hawkers.

Following the outbreak of war, Edward Marney jnr enlisted at Wimbledon. He became a driver in A. Battery, Royal Horse Artillery. He is likely to have been responsible for a team of horses, transporting weaponry, munitions and supplies to British forces along the Western Front. This was an extremely dangerous job – horses could panic at the sound of shell fire and enemy forces were also known to target supply trains, so drivers were often at risk. The British even resorted to screening off certain supply routes, to prevent the enemy from spotting passing wagons.

Sadly Edward was just one of many casualties. He died on 8 April, 1918, of wounds sustained during fighting in the Somme region. He was buried in the Namps-au-val British Cemetery. At the time of Edward’s death, his mother was living at 33, Queen’s Road, Mitcham and he is commemorated on the Mitcham War Memorial.


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