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Person Details
Mattersey, Notts
Edgar Glasby was the youngest of eight children born in 1872 to Henry and Hannah Glasby (nee Dukes). Like all his siblings he was born and bred in Mattersey, Notts. When Edgar was 7 years old, his father died at age 53. His mother lived another seven years before her death in 1886. She was 59 years old. By 1891, Edgar was working as a groom and lodging at Brewers Yard, Everton. Two years later he joined the colours.
22 Feb 1917
1 B Reserve Bde Royal Field Artillery
Edgar was attested on the 28 December 1893 when he was aged 20. He signed on in the Royal Artillery initially for short service at Woolwich, but in December 1901 he extended his service to complete 12 years and a further extension to 21 years in May 1905. He was sent to Africa on 26 September 1899 and took part in the South African War and sustained a bullet wound to the chest during the 18th Battery Royal Field Artillery battle at Modder River. Newspapers at the time (9 Feb 1900) reported:- Gunner Edgar Glasby, of the 18th Field Battery and now with the British Field Force in South Africa, writing home from Modder River to his brother George of East Street, Carolgate, Ret-ford says:- Dear brother and sister, just a few lines in answer to your kind letter, hoping this will find you all well as it leaves me at present. Dear sister I that know you would feel sorry for me when you read the paper and saw that I had been wounded but I am pleased to say that I am alright again and I don’t feel any worse for it. I have got back to the Battery, and am quite ready for some more. But I hope that it will not be my luck to stop any more of the Boer bullets, for they are not very pleasant and if anyone only tells me that they can’t feel them at first, I should tell them that they never were hit, for I felt it and I can tell you dear sister that I thought it was all over for a few minutes as it went through the breast and out the back. It went clean through the lung so that will give you a near idea how far I was from being a dead man. The doctor told me I would not live until morning – but he was wrong. Well dear sister, you would see by the papers what sort of fight it was. It was fearful. Never will I forget it. And it seemed worse when it got dark for the stretcher bearers could not get the wounded off the field, as fast as they went within range, the Boers shot them down. There were ever so many shot in the legs and could not walk and they were crying out fearful: some saying their prayers, some swearing, some shouting for their mothers, so I will leave you to guess what it was. It was midnight when I got in camp, soaking in blood.” 30th March. Retford Gunner at Paardeburg and Kimberley The following is taken from a letter which has been received from Gunner Edgar Glasby of the artillery by his relatives in Retford:- “We are travelling down on a train to fetch some more horses from Modder river for the battery, for we have ever so many killed in the last engagement, but we have been lucky in men so far. We have had some more very hard fighting, but we have beat them again, and we have taken a lot of stores away from them this time, such things as eatables and muskets and five or six big guns and we have got one of their leading men by the name of Cronje and about four thousand men so they have had a little bit of a shaking up this time, so if we have luck for two or three more days, I think that we may have got the biggest part of our work over this war. I shall be pleased for we have had some very trying times lately. We have been in action for four days and have never had the guns out of range of the Boers, but they have given in and we have taken this lot of prisoners and have sent them down to Cape-town so we will now have a few days peace perhaps. But you will have read all about this long before you read this in the papers, all about all our glorious doings.” He was awarded the Queens South Africa Medal with 4 Clasps, Belmont, Modder River, Johannesburg, and Paardeburg. Edgar served here until 24th November 1901. After spending two years in Africa he went directly to India where he spent nearly four and a half years, returning home in April 1906. In January 1912 he was awarded his Long Service & Good Conduct Medal and on 16 July 1915 appointed full Bombardier. In 1916 he spent time in hospital as he at first was coughing and then had lost 2 stone in weight, with pleurisy of the lung. He was diagnosed unfit with tuberculosis – infection was permanent leaving him totally incapacitated and was discharged on 10th December 1916 after serving 22 years 348 days. He lived his final days out living with a brother, Harry in Mattersey, and died on 22nd February 1917 age 43.
Edgar had a brother, John Glasby, who's only son was also named Edgar Glasby. He also died in the war and is named on Mattersey's memorial. Research by Colin Dannatt
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