No.1777 Private Edward Delaney
Also known as Edmond James Delaney, and Edwin Delaney.
Edward Delaney was born at North Melbourne in 1892, to Michael and Elizabeth Delaney. At the time of his enlistment, his parents were living at the Metropolitan Farm in Werribee. During the course of the war, his nominated “next of kin” transferred from his Father to his Mother.
Edward enlisted in the A.I.F. at Seymour, on the 30 September 1915, and gave his occupation as a Labourer. His initial service was with the 10/21st Reinforcements at Broadmeadows, and then he was transferred to the 2nd Reinforcements, 51st Battalion, where he was allocated a new service number (No.1777).
He embarked for France per the HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 1 March 1915, and after it docked in Fremantle (15 March 1916), he failed to re-embark. Going absent without leave for 33½ hours resulted in 10 days punishment, and 2 days loss of pay, which was awarded at Tel-el-Kebir Camp in Egypt, on the 23 May 1916. While in Egypt he was in the 13thTraining Battalion.
On the 5 June 1916, Edward departed from Alexandria in Egypt, on the S.S. Ivernia, after joining the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). He disembarked at Marseilles, France on 12 June 1916.
One month later, on the 3 July 1916, he was killed “In the Field”, in France. (No precise location is recorded). He is buried in the Rue du Bois Cemetery, 4½ miles S.W. of Armentieres. Grave No. D14.
In recognition of his sacrifice, Elizabeth Delaney (his Mother) was granted a pension of 30 shillings per fortnight, with effect from 27 September 1916.
The death of Private Delaney was reported in two separate items in the local newspaper, as follows:
Metro Farm Red Cross Soc.
It is with much regret that we have to refer to the death of Private Edward Delaney, who enlisted from the Metropolitan Farm, and who died nobly fighting for his country and our freedom. To his distressed parents and relatives, in their time of affliction, we extend our deepest sympathy, also to parents and relatives of soldiers who have been sick or wounded.
Werribee Shire Banner, 17 August 1916, p.3.
Werribee Shire Council Meeting on 29 July 1916.
The President feelingly referred to the sad death of Private Delaney, who was killed in France. Letters of condolence are to be forwarded to Private Delaney's family, and also to Mr. Robertson, whose son, Colin, was killed at Gallipoli. Seconded by Cr. Shaw and carried.
Werribee Shire Banner, 3 August 1916, p.3.
Edward also had a brother who enlisted in the A.I.F. who was killed. He was Private Henry Joseph Delaney, No.5671, 7th Battalion, killed at an unknown location in France, on 21 April 1917.
Elizabeth Delaney, the mother of the two boys killed in action wrote a very angry and frustrated letter to the Army, after she received a Memorial Plaque for her son Henry, on 27 August 1922.
To the Officer in Charge,
Enclosed you will find receipt for Memorial Plaque. Are you aware, or have you forgotten that I had Another Son killed in Action, and I am wondering why I haven’t received a plaque for him also, perhaps it will come later, but as he was killed first I thought I would receive his first, and I do not wish to have anything for one more than the other.
I am yours truly,
E. J. Delaney.
Medals & Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
- Memorial Plaque
- Memorial Scroll & King’s Message
- Photo of grave