b. 1887 Monkton Combe, Somerset. d. 31/12/1927 Bristol.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 22/11/1912 Box, Wiltshire.
Elizabeth was 6th of 7 children born to domestic gardener William Holley and his wife Elizabeth (nee Taylor). Both of her parents hailed from Wiltshire, her father from Calne and her mother from Chippenham. She became a domestic servant. She later took a training role at the Devizes County Asylum but never qualified as a certificated nurse. Nonetheless she impressed Dr Henry Crawford MacBryan who had run Kingsdown House for 22 years and he appointed her to his staff. She had only been at Kingsdown House for two months when the tragedy occurred which led to her Albert Medal.
Nurse Holley’s bravery struck a chord with people throughout Britain and her story was repeated from Shipley (Yorkshire), Framlington (Suffolk) and Hartlepool (County Durham) to Dundee. The story was even reported by the national press, The Daily Mirror on 5 February 1913. Of course, the local area was extremely proud of her and at Chippenham Petty Sessions a year later she was presented with a Carnegie Hero Certificate and a donation of £15 (today approaching £2,000 in value) from the Fund.
Elizabeth married Corporal Edmund Rawley Eddolls on 22 February 1919 at South Stoke, attended by her sister Elsie as bridesmaid and the couple set up home at Brinkworth, Wiltshire. Elizabeth and Edmund would have two children, Joan (born 1920) and Rawley E (born 1922).
The KING has been pleased to approve of the Albert Medal of the Second Class being awarded to Miss Elizabeth Holley, a nurse at Kingsdown House, Box, in the county of Wilts, in recognition of her gallantry in endeavouring, at great risk to her own life, to save the life of a lady patient who, while in her charge, was killed by an express train at Box Station, on the Great Western Railway, on the 22nd November last..
BURIAL LOCATION: ST JAMES’ CHURCHYARD, SOUTH STOKE, BATH, SOMERSET.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.
Alan Payne – Image of Elizabeth Holley AM.