Edward was one of the nine children of William and Mary (nee Alderson) Pedley. William was a Lead Miner and Farmer at the time of his death in 1910. Edward’s mother Mary probably took up the running of the boarding house at the Half Moon after her husband’s death. The Half Moon was next to the Black Bull Hotel in Reeth. After the death of his mother, in 1945, and stepfather, Edward’s sister Alice Ann took over the Half Moon. However, she predeceased her mother and it is uncertain what happened to the Half Moon at this time.
Two of Edward’s brothers remained living at the Half Moon after their mother’s death in 1945, so it is thought that the remaining part of the property was rented/leased out and it was probably Edward who managed that arrangement.
Edward was a self-employed stone mason and later a builder and contractor. He built an extension to what is now the Burgoyne Hotel on The Green at Reeth. He was clerk and then chairman of the Grinton Parish Meeting for many years and clerk of the Grinton Parish Council from 1931. He died in 1954 after which his daughter Elsie, the Postmistress at Grinton, took over as Parish Clerk. Edward had five surviving brothers. Judith Walmsley (nee Pedley) tells us: ‘The youngest I don’t think fought in the war as I believe he would have been classed as medically unfit.’
Why did Edward appeal against his conscription? His granddaughter Judith Walmsley suggests that it was Edward’s wife Martha who persuaded him to remain. All of Edward’s surviving four brothers had joined the armed forces and Martha may have felt that Edward was needed at home where he had skills from which the community could benefit. Edward’s wife Martha ran the post office in Grinton and as Edward stated in his appeal to the Reeth local tribunal: ‘Very serious hardship would ensue if I were taken as my wife (being Sub-Postmistress of Grinton with two deliveries attached) would be compelled to give it up, with also four young children.’
On 5 May 1916 the Reeth Local Tribunal gave Edward ‘Temporary exemption for three months to 5 Aug 1916. No further appeal.’ Edward appealed against this to the North Riding Appeal Tribunal – See image above.
Edward’s appeal stated that ‘it is absolutely impossible for me to fulfil my orders and contracts in the time allowed.’….I honestly ask for six months to give me the time to withdraw the quarry plant and dispose of it, with leave to appeal again…..I was not given a hearing and only called into the court to hear the decision…..As a voluntary attested man I claim the right to a further appeal and I wish to say that honestly feel that a great injustice has been done to me in that I have not received the same treatment from them that other men have received within the District in similar positions and with less responsibilities…..certain reasons were given for their decisions which if I had been granted a hearing I could have disavowed or otherwise.’ Edward was not the first appellant to hint at not being treated fairly by the local tribunals. There are other instances in the North Riding Appeal Tribunal case papers.
Edward asked for leave to appeal to the Central Tribunal in London. We can assume this was not granted as the decision of the North Riding Appeal Tribunal chaired by Mr Gilpin-Brown was that Edward’s appeal was dismissed, implying that the decision of the local tribunal was to stand and Edward would be exempt until 5 August 1916. However, Judith Walmsley tells us that on 10 August 1918 Edward enrolled in the Volunteer Force, Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment). This suggests that Edward made further applications to the North Riding Appeal Tribunal for an extension of the original temporary exemption between 1916 and 1918, and indeed he did.
In September 1916 Edward applied again and was allowed a further exemption to 1 Jan 1917. In that month he applied again and this time the North Riding Appeal Tribunal decided to allow his exemption, ‘Conditional on taking up work in agriculture for 3 days a week.’ The summaries of the three appeals made by Edward Pedley can be found at www.archivesunlocked.gov.uk