Ernest Alfred Price – War Casualty

Headstone

Ernest is my first cousin, twice removed and son of Amelia Pinder and Alfred Thomas Price.

Ernest was born in Sheffield in 1894 and lived in the Kimberworth area of Rotherham. Five years prior to his death in 1911, he was a Glass and China Shop Assistant.

Ernest is remembered in his home town on the cenotaph in Clifton Park, Rotherham.

Special thanks are owed to Trevor Higgins for writing the following text:-

Ernest was a member of the 8th btn York and Lancaster Regiment, which was formed from men of the same geographical area at Pontefract. It was a regiment never given the ‘Pals Battalion’ title as were many other locally formed regiments.

Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authuile Wood  (Copyright Trevor Higgins)

Blighty Valley Cemetery

The 8th were part of 70th Brigade and assigned to the Western Front of the Somme. On the night of the 30th June 1916, the soldiers of the battalion were located to trenches between Authille Wood and Ollivers . Their orders were to take the village of Ollivers when the attack was launched at 7.30 am on the 1st July.

The attack did not go well and many men were killed almost immediately. Those that remained, 70 of them, actually reached the third line of defence of the Germans, but none ever returned. Of those left defending the first trench, including members of the KOYLI Regiment, stood their ground until eventually overwhelmed.

war-memorial-clifton-park-rotherham-01-06-14-9

Rotherham War Memorial

Of 680 soldiers and 23 Officers, only 68 remained to return to the rear.

The Battle of the Somme is written in history as the greatest military loss in one day of conflict, some 19857 men killed or missing. It has also been suggested it was never a battle designed to win but, a campaign to cause the Germans to withdraw troops from Verdun in the south to defend the Western Front. Whatever the reason the battle was bloody and sacrificial. German losses were described as ‘the muddy grave of the German Field Army.’

This is a revised version of a post which was originally published on my WordPress Blog on 10/01/2010.

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