Lt Col E L L Acton MC
Commanding Officer - The East Surrey Regiment
Commanded 2nd Bn The East Surrey Regiment from 8th April 1935 to April 1939
Edward Leslie Lowry Acton was born on 18th October 1889 and commissioned in The Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment on 6th November 1909. During the 1914-18 War he served with that Regiment in France and Belgium until the battle of Messines Ridge in July 1917 when he received a serious head wound which resulted in permanent partial paralysis of his right arm and leg. For his gallantry in that action he was awarded the Military Cross In September 1922 he was transferred to The East Surrey Regiment on the disbandment of Southern Irish Regiments. He was employed on extra Regimental duties until joining the 2nd Battalion at Catterick in 1930. In 1931 he was posted to the 1st Battalion in India with whom he served until being appointed to command the 2nd Battalion in April 1935. Notwithstanding his disability he was a most energetic commanding officer. He insisted on taking part in the processional march in London at the Coronation of King George VI in 1937 which was an endurance test for any fit man but for him must have been an ordeal which only his indomitable spirit enabled him to surmount. In September 1938 he sailed with the Battalion to Shanghai and there tackled the difficult task of internal security and perimeter defence in the face of Japanese aggressiveness. He returned home in April 1939 preparatory to retirement and was recalled for service at home and appointed Chief Umpire for Exercises, Northern Ireland. He was known to his friends as "Ella" and also as "Hoppy".
He died on 15th February 1965.
For obituary see the Journal of The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment
Vol 2 No 3 page 197.