Daly, Mr. Edward – When Edward Daly was born on April 15, 1886, in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, his father, Michael Daly (b1857-1889), was 28 and his mother, Annie Fallens (b1858-d1932) was 27. He had one brother and three sisters.
When he was just 3 years old, hhis father was a victim of the Udston Pit Disaster on 20th December 1889. In 1891, his mother was bringing up the four young children by herself and they lived at Aitkenhead Buildings, High Blantyre.
At the age of 11 he left school and worked in collieries in the Hamilton area. On 24th March 1906, he left from Glasgow on board the “Caledonia” ship to New York, America where he lived for about 5 years. You can perhaps understand his reasoning in doing this. A young man, making his way in the world, there had to be an easier life than down in the pit and of course he had no father in Blantyre. It is likely though he missed his siblings and mother, for he returned back on 13th May 1912 coming back to Blantyre, a voyage perhaps made more concerning for passengers, due to the recent sinking of the Titanic a year earlier.
When he was 29 years old in 1915, his elder brother Michael died in France during World War One. Edward would have been considered just that little bit too old for enrolement and missed fighting in Europe.
He joined the Independent Labour party was influenced by Keir Hardie, the founder member of the Labour Party.
In 1923 he was elected as a member of the Blantyre Council and in 1927 he became a county councillor responsible for many Blantyre decisions. He succeeded the late Mr. Manus Duddy, Labour Councillor of Blantyre.
Daly actually lost his seat in 1929 but was elected County Councillor again in 1935 for the Stonefield Division of Blantyre, a post he held until his retirement in 1964.
On 24th October 1936, County Councillor Edward Daly presiding asked the council to consider the gift of the land for a playpark at Victoria Street, from the Miner’s Welfare as one of utility and pleasure to large number of children.
He took part in many openings of buildings, and campaigned for setting speed limits in Blantyre. Amongst other things he also spearheaded an iron railings drive during the early World War 2 years.
Edward Daly was elected Convener of Lanark County Council in 1958 and awarded the CBE in 1963 for his services to the community, which included encouraging companies to locate to the new industrial estate at High Blantyre after the Second World War.
As Housing Convenor he was responsible for the demolition of slums in the district and the construction of new council houses. Edward died on 28th June 1970, aged 84.
I have been unable to get a photo of Edward Daly at this time. Here is a photo of his council colleague James Anderson JP. From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)2016