Edwin Ernest Horley

Date of birth: 1886
Place of birth: St. Mary’s, Southampton
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 2/4th
Rank / Service No: Private, 355831
Died: 20th July 1918, aged 32 years
Buried: Marfaux British Cemetery, France (Plot I, Row H, Grave 12)


Edwin was the oldest of 5 siblings born to Edwin and Annie Horley (nee May), who married in St. Mary’s in 1885.

At the 1911 Census, the family were living at 331 Portswood Road.


Edwin Snr. was born in Southampton in 1859 and he died in the city in 1938.

Annie was also born in Southampton, in 1864, and she passed away there in 1915.



Edwin Ernest 

Ethel Annie   b. 1889 Southampton   d. 1967 Southampton   Married Edgar J. Dove in Southampton in 1924.

Frederick Charles   b. 7 January 1892 Southampton   d. 1954 Bournemouth  Married Daisy Leigh in Southampton in 1916.

William Harold   b. 1896 Southampton   d. 1975 Southampton   Married Olive Hamilton in Bramley, Yorkshire in 1922.

Arthur Walter   b. 1899 Southampton   d. 1968 Southampton   Married Margaret Baker in Daventry in 1922.


Edwin married Daisy Napier in Portswood in 1916; the couple had no children.

Daisy was born in Netley in 1890 and she passed away in Southampton in 1972.



The 2/4th Battalion was formed at Salisbury Plain in September 1914 as part of the “home service” (second line) units.


The battalion became part of the 2/1st Hampshire Brigade in the 2nd Wessex Division prior to sailing for India on 13 December 1914.


Having spent 2 ½ relatively low-key years in India, the battalion sailed for Egypt on 29 April 1917, landing at Suez.


The battalion then became attached to the 233rd Brigade in the 75th Division on 15 May 1917.


It sailed for France in May 1918, arriving in Marseilles on 1 June.

From the 5 June, the battalion was attached to the 186th Brigade in the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division.


Edwin perished during severe fighting around Marfaux. The town had been captured by the Germans in May 1918 and its recapture was considered vital.


On 23 July the town was back in Allied hands, thanks to the 51st (Highland) and 62nd Divisions.


The Cemetery was begun after the Armistice, from graves from the battlefields and from other military cemeteries in the Marne.

Edwin was buried with 17 of his battalion colleagues who died on the same day.


There are now over 1,000 Commonwealth WW1 burials on the site.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 30th September 2016


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