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Researching 2nd Bn HLI 39851 Ernest John Claridge, help

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Hoping someone may have access to the War diarys, to find out how Ernest died, Ive heard he was mentioned in dispatches but can't find any other info 2nd Bn HLI 39851 Ernest John Claridge, help


Erenest was born Janury 1876 Aldershot to John Claridge, Maria Hyde


his wife was Janet Oman Gunn married Edinburgh


on 1891 census he was listed as being a solider aged 15 Head Quarter and Garrison Staff



Location: Nord, France 
Number of casualties: 7118

Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 10.



Service Number 39851

Died 06/12/1917

2nd Bn. 
Highland Light Infantry




If the info is correct

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Aldershot as part of the 5th Brigade and 2nd Division.
14.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
During 1914 The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres. 
During 1915 Winter Operations 1914-15, The Battle of Festubert, The Battle of Loos.
During 1916 The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of the Ancre, Operations on the Ancre.
During 1917 The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The First and Second Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Battle of Cambrai.




he was born 1876


08 March 1904 Re-enlisted as a Gunner 

Discharged May 1905 - Character Not up for drill.


First name(s) Ernest John
Last name Claridge
Birth year 1878
Birth town Aldershot
Birth county Hampshire
Birth country England
Service number 3926
Regiment Edinburgh Artillery
Year 1904
Attestation date 08 Mar 1904
Attestation age years 26
Attestation service number 3926
Attestation corps R G A (M)
Document type Attestation
Series Wo 96 - Militia Service Records 1806-1915
The National Archives
Archive reference WO 96
Box 1345
Box record number 13
Record set British Army Service Records
Category Military, armed forces & conflict


Guessing he re enlisted again when the war started joined 2nd Bn Highland Light Infantry 39851 

Thanks for any help





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The medal roll for the  HLI man shows a pair of medals only - British War and Victory. This means he did not serve in theatre of war before 1/1/1916, His War Gratuity, paid to his widow, is £3. This is the minimum and is paid for 12 months or less service. Thus his WW1 service can be deemed to have started no earlier than a year before his death - so from late 1916 at the earliest

What evidence do you have that the Royal Scots/RGA man is the HLI man?

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The Ancestry transcription for the 1891 is not entirely correct (so what else is new!).


He is listed in the census as a Boy (he was under 18) in the Royal Scots.  The enlistment form for the Edinburgh Artillery has previous service (time expired) with 1 Royal Scots.  That part adds up.







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The WD for 2HLI reads,




The exigencies of the situation demanded that there should be as little movement as necessary. The enemy was entering in the dark as was shown by the “stoultory” nature of his shelling and the absence of rifle fire. Our Casualties today were 8 other ranks.
Casualties: - Wounded – 6 Other Ranks – Missing – 2 Other Ranks.




If by day things were quiet & movement at a minimum by night it was a different story. The whole area of the Division was alive with workers. Sappers, Pioneers & infantry all working neck v crop to form a line, which would baffle the numerous Divisions, the enemy was known to have put against the Sector. The sketch map attached as Appendix “A” to this months Intelligence Summary gives the general idea of the line completed. Naturally the final intention was to link up the Advance posts & so have substitute a new & strong front line.
A small post called ALBERT went out well in front of the advanced posts. By means of a telephone all movement on the front was registered.
Tonight 6/7th December 1917 the advanced outposts withdrew through our lines & so we remained as the main line of Resistance with Advanced posts as outposts.
Casualties: -Killed -3 Other Ranks. Wounded – 2 Other Ranks.





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