Royston Cooper ELEY

ELEY, Royston Cooper

Service Number: 119
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Port Broughton, South Australia, 1892
Home Town: Port Broughton, Barunga West, South Australia
Schooling: Port Broughton Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Northfield, South Australia, 7 August 1963, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: West Terrace Cemetery (General) Adelaide, South Australia
Kendrew Oval
Memorials: Port Broughton War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

12 Jan 1915: Involvement Private, SN 119, 9th Light Horse Regiment
12 Jan 1915: Embarked Private, SN 119, 9th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Armadale, Melbourne

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Biography contributed by tony griffin

Royston Eley was the son of Isaac Thomson and Sarah Jane Eley of Port Broughton. Isaac Eley was the railway superintendant at Port Broughton and had resided there for about 20 years. Royston was born at Port Broughton in 1892.


At the age of 14 Royston had been recognised by the Royal Humane Society for the bravery he had shown when rescuing a 10 year old girl from drowning after she had fallen from the jetty at Port Broughton. Eley jumped off the jetty and swam against a strong tide to pull her to a landing. His award was presented at Government House by the Governor of South Australia, Sir George LeHunte.


A labourer, he was 22  years old when he enlisted on 14 September 1914. Royston was appointed to A Squadron 9 Light Horse Regiment and embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT A26 “Armadale” on 12 January 1914. He landed at Gallipoli on 16 May 1915. At Gallipoli he was promoted to Lance Corporal and on return to Egypt to Corporal and then Sergeant.  Late in 1916 he would have received the news that his father had passed away.  17 April 1917 saw the British launch an ill-fated offensive against the entrenched Turkish forces in what would be known as the Second Battle of Gaza. On the third day of the battle, 19 April, at Atawineh, Royston received a gunshot wound to his abdomen and was admitted to hospital.

With the war near to an end Royston was admitted to Cadet School and on 4 January 1919 received his commission as a Lieutenant. He embarked from Egypt aboard HT “Oxfordshire” on 10 July 1919 and disembarked at Adelaide on 10 August. Royston’s appointment was terminated on 10 October 1919.