Squadron Sergeant-Major Edward Theophilus Deane-Freeman


Edward Theophilus Deane-Freeman was born on 29 April 1873 at Clogheen House, Buttevant, near Mallow, County Cork, the last of three children of landowner and militia colonel Joseph Deane-Freeman and his wife Mariella Sidney (nee O'Dwyer). His father died when he was just three years old.

Deane-Freeman enlisted in the 5th Dragoon Guards at Dublin on 19 January 1893 (No.3930). He served in India (from March 1893), South Africa (October 1899) and India (April 1902) before returning home later that year. He returned to India (June 1903), then South Africa (March 1904), returning home on 29 December 1908.

During that time he gradually rose through the ranks – lance corporal (September 1893), corporal (February 1897), sergeant (October 1898), and squadron quartermaster sergeant (November 1903). On 13 January 1905 he reverted to the rank of sergeant at his own request.

On 12 September 1905 Deane-Freeman faced a court martial for absenting himself without leave. Found guilty, he was reduced to the rank of corporal, a sentence that was later remitted. On 24 April 1909, soon after his return to the UK, he was promoted to squadron sergeant-major.

On 1 September 1909 Deane-Freeman was posted to the permanent staff of the North Irish Horse as squadron sergeant major, attached to B (Londonderry) Squadron. In the following years he was mentioned in local newspapers as a witness for the regiment in the trials of Horsemen Samuel Logan and David Tease. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 4.2 Clooney Terrace, Londonderry.

Deane-Freeman was discharged from the army, at his own request, on 19 January 1912. His conduct and character were recorded as 'very good', with special qualifications – 'a good clerk'. Later that year he emigrated to Canada. On 28 April 1913 he married Edith McConnell at Winnipeg, Manitoba.

On 25 March 1915 at Vancouver, Deane-Freeman enlisted in the 11th Canadian Mounted Rifles (No.116081). He was aged 41 at the time. He arrived in England on 25 July 1916, serving there until the end of the war, when he returned to Canada and on 6 April 1919 was discharged. A month later, however, he enlisted at the Esquimalt Military Hospital, Vancouver, serving there until discharged on 7 February 1920.

Deane-Freeman died at 1739 Haultain Avenue, Victoria, on 16 January 1951.