Shadow

The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.

World War One

Ernest Herbert

DIED OF WOUNDS - 31ST MARCH 1918 - AGED 23


Ernest Herbert Grave registration document

Ernest Herbert Grave registration document

 

BORN IN CLOPHILL IN 1895.

PRIVATE 33117 6TH BATTALION, LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT.

ENLISTED BEDFORD.

COMMEMORATED IN LE CATEAU MILITARY CEMETERY, NORD, FRANCE.

 

In 1911 Ernest lived with his parents George (a woodman working on an estate) and Elizabeth. Ernest was a shepherd. They lived at 11 The Strand. His maternal Grandfather George Braybrooks (pensioner) and also 4 of Ernest's siblings lived with them. By 1911 his parents had had 9 children, 8 of whom had survived. A cook called Sarah Roose (Rouse?) also lived with them.


Ernest was with his unit in the UK until he was sent to the Western Front with the Leicestershire Regiment in November 1916. He was involved with numerous engagements until he was taken prisoner near Cambrai, he died whilst in captivity.

The Leicestershire Regimental website states:- "In the last desperate attacks by the German armies launched in the spring of 1918, the "Tigers" fought with unsurpassed heroism. The sterling courage of the 110th Brigade (which included the 6th Battalion) in the defence of Epehy in March 1918 was a fine example of British grit. Exposed to the full blast of constant attacks delivered by three fresh German divisions, the stubborn soldiers of Leicestershire refused to budge, but met each attack with devastating rifle and machine gun fire. Only at one point did the enemy succeed in piercing the line at Vancellette Farm, defended to the last man by the party of Leicester men who held it."

During the war Le Cateau had been a German railhead and the site of an important hospital centre. The military cemetery was laid out by the Germans in February 1916 with separate plots for the Commonwealth and German dead. It contains the graves of over 5,000 German soldiers, many of whom were buried during the occupation, the rest being brought in from other German cemeteries after the Armistice. A separate plot contains the graves of 34 Russian prisoners of war who died in captivity. The Commonwealth plot is the site of almost 700 graves and commemorations of the First World War.


Record of Service Paper

Record of Service Paper

Descriptive Report on Joining

Descriptive Report on Joining

Casualty Form - Active Service

Casualty Form - Active Service

Click for larger images


Ampthill News

May 6, 1916

Privates Lewis Ansell, John Lomas, Ernest Herbert and Lewis Webb, of the 1/5th Beds., have returned home as the term of their service has expired.

May 20, 1916

Pte. Ernest Herbert, a time-expired soldier of the Bedfords, who has lost two brothers, is progressing and hopes soon to be convalescent.

January 13, 1917

Other Clophill men who have gone to the front recently are Troopers H. Matthews and L. Izzards, Beds Yeomanry, and Private E. Herbert, Beds Regiment.

February 9, 1918

Pte. Ernest Herbert, of the Leicesters, after fourteen day's leave, has returned to France.

May 11, 1918

Anxiety is felt by the parents of Pte. Ernest Herbert Burton who is reported missing. A comrade of his from Flitwick writes that he is a prisoner of war and Ernest Herbert of Clophill is with him.

October 5, 1918

Mr. and Mrs. George Herbert, of the Strand, learn that their son, Pte. Ernest Herbert, of the Leicesters, was taken prisoner on March 20, and died of his wounds on March 21. He was reported wounded and missing in April, and the shock is deeply felt by his parents. Two soldier brothers have predeceased him.