Date added: 5 Jan 2017
Edward was the son of John Marks, an Excise Officer. John Marks & Elizabeth Marks, née Truslove, had 14 children. Edward was the 9th child of the 14 and baptised on 30th July 1792 in the parish of Knowle, Warwickshire. Knowle is a village 3 miles to the south of Solihull and 11 miles to the west of Coventry.
Edward Marks enlisted in the RHA (Royal Horse Artillery), at the age of 16, in Coventry on 27th June, 1808. We think 27th June was his 16th birthday but cannot prove it definitely. He served in the RHA for 21 years 183 days.
From joining in 1808 until 1812, we have so far traced no records for Edward. However, for 1812 and from 1815 - 1819 we know exactly where he was serving, by examining the Muster & Payrolls for the RHA. He had served with O Battery of the RHA , (the Rocket Troop) in the previous campaign in Germany and in 1820 would be awarded the Swedish silver gallantry award for distinguished service at the Battle of Leipzig on 18 October 1813.
‘FÖR TAPPERHET I FÄLT’ (‘For brave conduct in the field’)
The entry in the Waterloo Medal Roll is a bit of a puzzle as it describes Edward as a Bombardier. In the Pay & Muster book for June, just prior to the Battle, Edward is described as having the higher rank of a Corporal and in the July 1815 muster at Mesnoval he is also described as a Corporal. For both musters there was a complement of 3 Corporals (Robert Chalkley, John Potts & Edward Marks). We conclude that the clerk making this list should have placed the word ‘Bombardier’ one entry lower against number 1190 Thomas Bayley.
After a period with the Army of Occupation in France, the 2nd Rocket Troop returned to Woolwich in July 1816 and the following month Major W G Eliot (formerly of 1st Rocket Troop) took over the command when the two Rocket Troops were reduced to just one.
On 28th May 1816 Edward married Sophia Broome at St Margaret Westminster, a small church literally in the shadow of Westminster Abbey. They had 5 children, born between 1818 and 1835 in Woolwich, Pontefract, Althlone in Ireland and Greenwich.
Having served for 21 years and 183 days in the RHA and attained the rank of sergeant, Edward retired on 30th September 1829, aged 37, and was awarded a pension of 1/10d per day.
He died on 21st December 1877 at the age of 85.
Note : The Leipzig Medal was the first medal in Europe awarded to NCO’s and other ranks for gallantry. It was issued to officers in gold and to other ranks in silver.
The medal was instituted by Gustav III on 28 May 1789, during his war against Russia and was meant to complement the Order of the Sword—which was instituted on 23 February 1748 and was awarded for the same purpose—valour in the field or at sea—but only to officers.
Edward's actual medals plus a replica owned by the Royal Artillery Association and on permanent loan to O Battery of the RHA at their base in Tidworth, Wiltshire.