SIZER, Edward Chisnall.

527, Trooper, Edward Chisnall SIZER
Aged 37

East Africa Mounted Rifles
Died on Thursday, 2nd March 1916

Edward Chisnall SIZER was born on 1878 in Great Bentley, Essex (Tendring Q4-1878 4A:356), son of Carrington Francis and Susanna SIZER (née CHISNALL).

1881 census...Aged 2, he was at St.Mary's Farm, Great Bentley, Essex with his father Carrington Francis SIZER [53] a farmer; his mother Susanna [30] born Hadleigh; sister Mary Jane [13] and brother Percy Kenneth [2]. All except his mother were born in Great Bentley.

1891 census...Aged 12, he was at the East Anglian School, Bury St. Edmunds. His father, sister Ethel M and brother John E {3] were still at St Mary's Farm. His mother was visiting her stepson George F SIZER and his family at 13 Campbell Road, Bromley. Just to help the confused, George named one of his sons Carrington Francis SIZER.

1901 census...Aged 22, a draper's assistant, he was with his parents at 19 Carisbrook Road, Walthamstow (father now a coal merchant's clerk) with his brother and John E, and sister Ethel M. Brother Percy was in South Africa in the Army.

1911 census...Aged 32, a warehouseman and traveller for a wholesale Drapery, he was at 21/22 Regents Square, London His father had died in 1903, his mother died in 1910.

His younger brother Percy died of wounds serving in France in King Edward's Horse in 1917. see here

From his medal index card it appears he was an agent for the Intelligence Department before joining the East African Mounted Rifles. The Rifles were gathered together from European settlers in 1914 and became part of Brigadier General Stewart's 1st East African Division. A very efficient force in the terrain, they were gradually subsumed into other units until by the end of 1916 they had virtually vanished, They were never disbanded, just faded away into history.

They were heavily involved in the operations around Mount Kilimanjaro at the end of February 1916 and then had a rare success at Latema Reata Ridge on the 11th March. The offensive was set by General Smuts as the wettest and most disease prevalent time of the year, which may have accounted for Edward's death.

German General Von Lettow was never beaten, his small force, with no supplies from Germany and vastly outnumbered managed to slip through the British net time and again. Living off the land and using captured weapons and ammunition they eventually surrendered a few days after the Armistice in 1918, receiving a heroes welcome back in Berlin

Sizer monument at Queen's Road Cemetery, Walthamstow.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Edward Sizer is buried in Kajiado Cemetery, Kenya, grave 3:D:2
also commemorated on the Great Bentley war memorial .

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details