Edward enlisted at Inverell in January 1916, giving his age as eighteen and occupation as Labourer. His parents, David and Mary lived in Oliver Street, Inverell. Edward was one of the nineteen men who departed Inverell on 1 February 1916, between the First and Second Kurrajongs contingents.
He became a member of the 36th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement and sailed from Australia on HMAT A72 Beltana in May 1916. Upon arrival in England he trained at Salisbury Plain before being sent to France in November.
During the Battle of Messines in June 1917 Edward was wounded and treated for an eye injury. In April the following year he was transferred to the 33rd Battalion. A few months later he was wounded again, returned to England and admitted to hospital at Chatham with a gunshot wound to his arm. He arrived back in Australia in February 1919 and discharged in April. After returning to Inverell he was given a Welcome Home at the School of Arts Hall and presented with a set of military brushes.
In 1922 he married in Sydney where he lived until his death in 1948. Private Foley’s name is recorded on the Inverell Honor Roll.