Eli was born in 1875, the son of John & Ellen Penny, Bank Building Marlborough, Wiltshire.

In September 1896 Eli joined the 18th Hussars and one year later was posted to the 20th Hussars. He served in India from 18th November 1897 to 2nd December 1901, and in South Africa from the 18th December 1901 until 28th March 1903, earning two awards of Good conduct pay along the way.

His service in South Africa was commemorated by the award of the South Africa Medal, with clasps for 1901, 1902, Orange Free State and Transvaal.

ELi was working as a groom at the Weeting Hall stables when he re-enlisted in the army in August 1916. On 9th August he joined the depot of the Army Vetinary Corps, and was granted the extra Corps pay. Posted to France on 12th May 1917, he was admitted to a field hospital on the 21st, but discharged two days later.

He was granted 14 days leave from the 20th June 1918, during which he married Minnie Saunders in Fulham. Their honeymoon was cut short when Eli was admitted to the Military Hospital in Reading on July 2nd. Discharged from hospital, Eli rejoined his unit in France on 19th July 1918. It seems he then remained in France until posted back to Woolich for demobilization on 30th March 1919.

Eli was finally demobed on April 29th 1919 and returned to the family home in Marlborough.

South Africa Medal, with clasps for 1901, 1902, Orange Free State and Transvaal

Victory Medal

British War Medal

The information presented here has been derived from surviving public and military records as well as from contemporary press reports. We hope you find it of interest ‐ if you think we have made an error, or can add any further details, please get in touch.