Name: EDWARD JAMES FEELY
Rank: Lance Corporal
Service Number: 3695
Units Served: 16th Battalion & 48th Battalion
Personal Details: Edward James Feely was born in Port Pirie on the 13th of December 1885. He had brown hair, blue eyes, fair skin and stood at 5ft 8 ½ inches tall. His mother and father were James and Annie Feely and he was the eldest of 8 children. Before going to war Edward was a labourer.
Enlistment Details: Edward enlisted in Adelaide on the 25th of August 1915 when he was 29 years and 8 months. His service number was 3695 and he was a part of the 16th battalion.
Details about his role in War: Edward embarked from Adelaide on the 2nd of December 1915 aboard H.M.A.S “Malwa”. On the 9th of March 1916 Edward was allotted to and taken on strength with the 48th Battalion in Tel-El-Kebir, Egypt. He embarked Alexandria on the 2nd of June 1916 and disembarked in Marseilles on the 9th of June.
Initially the 48th Battalion was in the north of France around Fluerbaix, but in late July it moved south to take part in the Battle of Pozieres. It took over part of the front line there in early August and during this time the battalion withstood what has been described as the heaviest artillery bombardment ever survived. The casualties to the battalion at Pozieres and subsequently at Mouquet Farm numbered over half of its strength. The battalion then moved north in to Belgium to hold the line south of Ypres in a relatively quite part of the front, allowing numbers to be rebuilt with fresh reinforcements and men returning from injuries.
Over the winter of 16 /17 the battalion spent time back in the Somme around Flers.
On April the 11th 1917, the 48th was involved in the 1st Battle of Bullecourt, where it again suffered very heavy casualties.
On the 28th of June 1917 Edward James Feely was appointed Lance Corporal. Four months later, on the 12th of October 1917, Edward’s battalion was involved in the First Battle of Passchendaele where fighting took place in the most appalling waterlogged conditions. Within this battle Edward James Feely was killed in action.
The following article was placed in the "Daily Herald" on teh 21st November 1917, sourced through Trove.
LATE LANCE-CORPORAL E .J. FEELY
Lance-Corporal E. J. Feely, of the 48th Battalion, was killed in action in France on October 12. . He enlisted at Port Pirie, and left Australia on December 5, 1915. He was in Egypt for several months, and was then sent to France, where he was engaged in several big battles. He was formerly employed by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company at Port Pirie. Two of his brothers are serving in France.
Age at Death: 32 years and 10 months
Memorial Details: Tyne Cot British Cemetery, Plot XXXIX, Row F, Grave 15
Interesting Material: The belongings sent back to Edward’s mother were a pipe, rosary beads, a lanyard, a booklet and a photo.
Edward had 2 brothers, Archibald Joseph Feely, who enlisted in November 1914, served on Gallipoli and the Western Front and returned home in 1919, and Allan Jervis Feely, who also went to war in September 1916 but made it home in June 1919. Their mother, Annie, died on the 6th June that year. She was in the Isolation Hospital so may well have been a victim of the Spanish Flu.
Image from the "Chronicle" 24th November 1917 sourced through Trove