Edward was born 1881 in Radcliffe on Trent and married Louisa Forester in January 1909. They had two children, Fred and Freda.
Before enlisting in February 1916 he was a bricklayer. He became a building contractor on his return.
He died in 1929 in Manchester. His home address at the time was Eastwood Road, Radcliffe on Trent.
Military Service: Edward Rockley left Cannock Chase on 29th May 1917 and arrived in France on May 30th. On 1st June there was an air scrap over the camp; the men then spent the next two weeks training on the ‘bullring’. On the 15th June they drew their kit and spent until 2nd July working their way to the front. At the end of June, he was transferred with his regiment, the Northumberland Fusiliers, to Achiet-le-Grand, which is north of Albert and Thiepval, France. On July 1st, the regiment moved East to Vélu and to the trenches the following day.
He had five days on the front line which he describes as ‘a bit lively’. There followed five days behind the lines and on 14th July he was given the task of wiring at night. On the 17th at midnight he was injured with a gunshot wound to his toe, taken to hospital for an operation and then loaded on a ship and sent to a hospital in Manchester where he arrived on the 23rd July.
On 4th August Louie, his wife, and Fred and Freda, his children, visited him in hospital. They stayed in Manchester until 27th August. His recovery fluctuated, appearing to improve but then suddenly deteriorating. According to his military records he spent five months in hospital. He never returned to France and was given ‘light labour’ after he left hospital. Pension records show that he was assessed initially with a disablement of 20%, which was later reduced to 1%.
His hospital diary below has been transcribed as it is now difficult to read a copy of the original, having been written in pencil.
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