Darbey, John Edward

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Darbey, John Edward

Regiment/Catrawd: 5/6th Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Q 47

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Egypt

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals

Date of Death: 31st October 1918

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Died at the 27th General Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt on the 31st October 1918 (age given on Commonwealth War Grave Certificate is 31 but believe this should say 21)

John Edward Darbey appears on the 1901 census living with his family at Chester Road Shotton. The family comprised father John Darbey 39 an iron worker and draper born in Staffordshire, Mother Sarah 37 born West Bromwich Staffordshire (deaf?), their children Joseph 14, Eva E 10,John E 8. There was also a boarder William Bell aged 66 an iron worker.

Ten years later in the 1911 census, the family was living at 7 West Parade Rhyl. John Darbey was 49, Sarah 47, Joseph William 24, Eva Elsie 20, John Edward 13, William Reginald was 3 and there were two visitors – widow Eileen Joynes and Leslie Joynes 6

UK soldiers who died in the Great War, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk gives us the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Shotton.

John Edward’s Service Records survive and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk  His Attestation papers give his address as Manchester House Shotton. They were signed in March 1915 in Shotton.

His Service Records show that whilst he was in Egypt he suffered from eye problems. The conditions of blephoritis and conjunctivitis were recorded on a casualty sheet for him over a period of 3 months in 1917 and 18. Bephoritis is an inflamation and infection around the eyes which occurs when grime leads to bacteria in the eyelids. The symptoms include itching, redness, burning and sensitivity to light. The dry heat and dust and sand of Egypt can’t have helped.

The casualty sheet also records that he had some treatment for abrasions to his heels in October 1918 and on the 26th October 1918 he was admitted to the 27th General Hospital in Alexandria with bronchial pneumonia and he sadly died 5 days later.


In his records is a copy of the telegram that was sent to his family at home.

His records include a list of his next of kin. His parents lived in The Cedars Highbury Avenue, Prestatyn as did his brother Arthur and sister Eva Elsie.  His brother Joseph  William Darbey lived at Kirby Grove Shotton.

There is a copy of a form in his records which was sent to his father along with John Edward’s possessions. It had a list of them. All he had in the world were a wallet, cards and photos.

John Edward Darby in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that John Edward died at the 27th General Hospital, Cairo, Egypt and the sole Legatee was his mother Sarah Darbey, who was paid £31. 10s 10d, which included his War Gratuity of £21. 0s 0d on the 13th May 1919.

John is also remembered on Hawarden War Memorial  & St. Ethelwolds Church Screen