He was the son of Harry & Esther Bleackley of Lynton House, Cheadle Hulme. The family originated from the Eccles area and Edward had been born in Worsley.
He attended Stockport Technical School, where he had won a prize for French, and then went to work in his father's cloth business in York Street, Manchester. In his spare time, he played lacrosse for the Heaton Mersey "C" Team and is believed to have been one of many local sportsmen who joined the Battalion in the days immediately after War was declared on 4 August 1914 (although his service number could date to just pre-War). A few weeks later, he was on his way to Egypt where he spent the next seven months. Some details of this period can be found here.
In early May 1915, the Battalion left Egypt to go into action at Gallipoli. Some details of their first three weeks on the peninsula can be found in this account. On 1 June 1915, Edward was shot in the head by a sniper, whilst taking a message across open ground to a front line trench. His brother Cliff was nearby and helped him to a dressing station. It is probable that the sniper had a very successful day, as 5 other members of the Battalion were killed outright. He underwent two hours of surgery at a field hospital before his condition was stabilised sufficiently for him to be put aboard a hospital ship back to Egypt.
The Stockport Advertiser, 2 July 1915, reported that "News had been received from No. 15 General Hospital, Alexandria, that Pte. Bleackley, reported on 10 June to be dangerously ill from a bullet wound in the head is now doing well. He has undergone an operation and is making quite good progress." Edward must have suffered a relapse and died.
Mr & Mrs Bleackley had more bad news in July, when they heard that Cliff had been wounded in the foot and was in hospital in Malta.