SOLLY - A DOVORIAN FAMILY'S WAR RECORD
From Lynne Burlingham
This article was originally published in the April2 010 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
Lynne has kindly sent the following information following the article from Colin Charles Solly in the December 2009 issue of Soul Search (v.3, no.15, p23)
I think this must be the same article a photocopy of which I obtained several years ago from Dover Library. If so it comes from page 3 of the Dover Express for 10 August 1917.
My initial interest in the article was a general one in anything to do with the Solly/Solley family. However, on reading the article for the first time, I was surprised by the reference to 'William (Bob) Solley, the Buffs, of Sandwich (cousin)....'. Despite one or two discrepancies in detail in the report, I am fairly sure that this is my great-uncle Bob. His first name was actually Walter but he was always known in the family as a Bob, and he was killed on the 9 April 1917, not the 14 April, at which time he held the rank of Lance Corporal, not Private. But he did come from Sandwich and he was married. It does seem rather unlikely that there should have been two W. Solleys in the Buffs, both from Sandwich, both married and especially both known as Bob!
There remains the question as to how a Solley spelled with an 'e' came to be a cousin to a family spelling their name Solly without the 'e'. Assuming William/Walter aka Bob are one and the same, one possibility that springs to mind is through a connection to Mary Solly of Sandwich, who married Stephen Solley of Ash in 1818. Stephen Solley would have been Walter (Bob) Solley's great-uncle. However I know nothing about Mary Solly's family or connections. Nor had I previously come across any of the other Sollys mentioned in the article.
I am also intrigued (and impressed!) by the story of the rescue of Lance Corporal Rigden by Bob Solley. This is something I had not heard about before and would be interested to know more.
Walter (Bob) Solley was born in 1887 at Lowton, Richborough, near Sandwich. He was baptised Walter Frederick Solley at St Nicholas, Ash on 16 October 1887, but always seems to have been known in the family as Bob. In the 1901 Census the family was living in Fisher Street, Sandwich. He enlisted in the Buffs about 1910/1911. In 1916 he married Lilian Ann (Lily) Stevens and they had a daughter Marjorie Lilian Solley. Bob was killed in action on 9 April 1917 and is buried in the Tilloy British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
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