Born in Chorley in 1889, one of six children to his parents Joseph and Mary (nee Heald). They were living at 4 Wellington Street in Chorley in 1901, 1911 and 1914 when Eli enlisted in the Pals. Although not married he had a partner and three children, and worshipped at St. Laurence’s and Hollinshead Congregational Churches. Fluent in French, he worked as a Weaver at Mayfield Mill in the town, and played football for Hollinshead Street.

Eli was wounded at Serre on the 1st July 1916, breaking his arm and leg and being treated at a hospital in Glasgow. He was killed in action on the 13th May 1917 at Oppy Wood and, having no known grave, is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. Two of his brothers were killed in the war, but not with the Chorley Pals – Joseph on the 15th June 1915, aged 22, serving as Private 2055 with the 1st / 4th (T.F.) Battalion Loyal North Lancs. and Henry (Harry) in Gallipoli on the 28th August 1915 serving as Private 4405 with the 5th Battalion of the Connaught Rangers.