Edmund 'Ned' Shelly was born in 1889. Before he enlisted to fight in World War I he worked as a labourer, and was frequently mentioned in advertisements for dance evenings (eg. Adelaide Advertiser Oct 18 1913). He married Elizabeth Louisa Floyd in December 1910.

On 19 August 1914, shortly after the war broke out, Edmund and his brother William George enlisted in Morphettville in Adelaide (Edmund's service number was 345 - 10th Infantry Battalion). Ned shipped out to Egypt 20 October 1914 and would have taken part in several months' training. On 5 May 1915 he received a severe gunshot wound to the penis. The circumstances are unclear, but may be related to his suffering gonorrhoea (it was not uncommon for soldiers to catch sexually transmitted diseases while stationed in Egypt). The gonorrhoea was apparently detected as soon as he arrived in Gallipoli on 15 August 1915. The very next day he was admitted to hospital for treatment, and was shipped back to the hospital at Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos. His pay was temporarily stopped, as was usual at that time. He was shipped over to England in September 1915. No record has been found of what he did from November 1915 till he went absent without leave in January 1916 and was assigned to No 2 Command Depot in Weymouth, England in January 1917. He then went on to the School of Cookery, finished the war as a Sergeant and returned to Australia on 14 September 1918, arriving 18 November. He was finally discharged January 1919.

In September 1916, about the same time as Ned was being transferred to No 2 Command Depot in Weymouth Elizabeth boarded the RMS Omrah and travelled to Weymouth to join him. There are no sources on what Elizabeth did in England, but there are several local entries in the album from Broadwey, which is a village in Dorset, not too far from the camp in Weymouth where Ned served.

Ned is frequently mentioned as Master of Ceremonies at several dance occasions after the war, interestingly he is also mentioned as “Late AIF”. Elizabeth is also mentioned as a musician. She played in a farewell event for Edmunds cousin Francis 'Frank' Thulborn in 1915. Little information has been found about Elizabeth's life except for her marriage notice, her entries in the autograph album and the post-war family notices of the Shelly family where she and Edmund signed as “Ned and Louie”.

Edmund 'Ned' Shelly died 10 October 1959. Elizabeth Louisa 'Louie' Shelly died 20 August 1967.


Service record, Edmund Shelly, National Archives of Australia

Adelaide Advertiser Oct 18 1913

More Information