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British Cemetery Elvas

British Cemetery in Elvas

Field Marshal Sir Edward Blakeney

Field Marshal Sir Edward Blakeney was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1778, the fourth son of Colonel William Blakeney. He entered the army, in 1794, as a cornet in the 8th Light Dragoons 

In 1807 he sailed with the 7th Regiment of Foot, the Royal Fusiliers, to the Baltic, where he took part in the capture of the Danish fleet and the surrender of Copenhagen. He served in the battles of Buçaco and Albuera, where he was severely wounded through the thigh. He obtained the command of the 7th Foot after the Battle of Albuera in 1811.

He then served in the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, where he was severely wounded through the arm, and the battles of Vitoria, Pampeluna, Pyrenees and Nivelle. He married in 1814 Maria, a daughter of Colonel Gardiner. In 1815, he served at the Battle of Waterloo and was present at the capture of Paris. For those and other services he received the gold cross and a silver war medal and was made a knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal in 1812. 

Blakeney retained the command of his regiment until 2 June 1825 when the first brigade of the army was sent to Portugal and entrusted to his charge. On 20 September 1832 he was rewarded with the colonelcy of his old regiment, the 7th Foot, which he did not resign until 21 December 1854, when he was nominated colonel of the 1st Foot. He retained that appointment until his death. He became lieutenant-governor of Chelsea Hospital in 1855 and the governor in 1856. 

His general's commission dates from 20 June 1854 and the high honour of a field-marshalship was conferred on him 9 November 1862. In consideration of his long and valuable services to his country, he was also made colonel-in-chief of the Rifle Brigade, 28 August 1865.  He was gazetted K.C.B. 2 January 1815, a Privy Councillor in Ireland 7 May 1836 and G.C.B. 7 May 1849. Field Marshal Sir Edward Blakeney died at Chelsea Hospital on 2 August 1868 and was buried at Twickenham.