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Remembered Today:

49375 Pte Ernest Laker


OwenMartin
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Hi, 

I’m currently researching Ernest Laker who is my great great great uncle from my fathers side. Ernest was born about the 30th March 1884 in Essex. I’m not sure when he joint up but his photo looks like early war to me, he was part of the 13th battalion, London Regiment and he was killed on the 30th October 1917 near Poelcapelle (not sure how to spell it). The one thing I can’t find is his medal index card if anyone could give me information about how I can find it I would be grateful.  
 

Owen.

25888787-B177-4958-A2D3-8691B53B1942.jpeg

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you re missing a digit

Ernest Harry Laker 7828 / 493753

MIC under Ernest H Laker7828/  493753

 

Ray

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There is a MiC for an Ernest H. Laker, 13th London Regiment, originally service number 7828, but after the 1917 Territorial Force renumbering 493753 - could this be your man?

Cheers,

Peter

Edit - oops, cross posted with Ray

Edited by PRC
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The Long, Long Trail page for the renumbering of the men serving with the infantry Battalions of the Territorial Force shows that the number block allocated to the 13th Battalion ran from 490001 to 510000. So that 493753 number would appear to fit. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/renumbering-of-the-territorial-force-in-1917/renumbering-the-tf-infantry-in-1917/

His Commonwealth War Graves commission webpage, which incidentally shows him attached to the 2/6th Battalion, has him under the 493753 service number. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/835216/ernest-harry-laker/

Same with Soldiers Died in the Great War.

Probably worth checking out the Victory Medal and British War Medal Roll entry for him (Ancestry only) - they were the only service medals he was entitled to - as for men serving with the London Regiment they can be quite detailed. He didn't start his service with the 1/13th for example as they had been in France since November 1914, but he could have been with 2/13th, (didn't go to France until June 1916) or as part of a general draft sent out to France from the 13th Reserve, a UK only training and holding unit. The latter scenario could be one explanation of why he was serving with the 2/6th at the time of his death.

It may also be possible from the amount of his War Gratuity show on his entry in the Army Register of Soldiers Effects, (Ancestry only) to calculate an approximate four week period when he enlisted.

Hope that helps,
Peter

Edit: Will you stop it Ray :)

Edited by PRC
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@OwenMartin

If you haven't already got it, the War Diary for the 2/6th Battalion covering the period when he died can be downloaded for free currently from the National Archive if you sign in with your account. (If you haven't got one it can be set up as part of placing your first order - click sign in and follow the instructions. No financial details are requested.)

Relevant page of the National Archive catalogue is here https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7355110

I can't see any deaths recorded on CWGC for members of the 2/6th Battalion on the 30th October 1917, but a check of the 13th Battalion brings up some possibilities.

Private 490564 O. Currie is shown on CWGC as having died serving with the 2/13th Battalion, and he is buried at Dozingham Military Cemetery. However the original Grave Registration report from 1920 shows his unit as 2/6th. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/620352/o-currie/

Private 495543 Albert Henry Dobson, like Ernest, has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. He too is shown as attached 2/6th. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/1630069/albert-henry-dobson/

Private 495532 Herbert Fordham is another one remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial and attached 2/6th. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/1632199/herbert-fordham/

Private 495633 Albert Arthur Hearns is the same. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/836312/albert-arthur-herns/

Also:
Private 495576 William Henry Hinnells. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/836690/william-henry-hinnells/

Private 495639 Bernard King. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/834881/bernard-king/

Lance Corporal 493719 Chris Arthur Luker. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/833349/chris-arthur-luker/

There is also a Private 495573 Joseph Richard Nichols just shown as attached 6th Battalion, who is buried at Minty Farm Cemetery, Belgium.https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/447383/joseph-richard-nichols/

CWGC adds in the history of that cemtery that "Minty Farm (the name was probably adopted during its occupation by a Wiltshire unit) was at one time used as a German blockhouse and in 1917, as a company headquarters for Commonwealth forces. The cemetery was begun in October 1917 and used until April 1918 by units fighting on that front."https://www.cwgc.org/visit-us/find-cemeteries-memorials/cemetery-details/51502/minty-farm-cemetery/

Unfortunately none of them appear to have surviving service records, so more delving would be needed to establish a date and the circumstances of the arrival of these 13th Battalion men on attachment to the 2/6th Battalion.

Hope that is of interest.
Peter

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1 hour ago, PRC said:

Probably worth checking out the Victory Medal and British War Medal Roll entry for him (Ancestry only) - they were the only service medals he was entitled to - as for men serving with the London Regiment they can be quite detailed. He didn't start his service with the 1/13th for example as they had been in France since November 1914, but he could have been with 2/13th, (didn't go to France until June 1916) or as part of a general draft sent out to France from the 13th Reserve, a UK only training and holding unit. The latter scenario could be one explanation of why he was serving with the 2/6th at the time of his death.

Medal rolls show that as #7828 13 London Regiment he was in 'Theatre of War 1a' from the 6 July 1916 to 30 January 1917. Followed by #493753 13 London Regiment, 'Theatre of War 1a' from 8 September 1917 to his death 30 October 1917. (image courtesy of Ancestry)

I am trying to find where he was between 31 January to 7 September 1917.

Laker.jpg

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The database, 'Soldiers died in the Great War' records that he was 'FORMERLY 6274, 1ST LONDON REGT' (image below courtesy of Find My Past) -- a search on Find My Past under 'Laker' and '6274' brings up two medical record entries in the Admissions and Discharge Books, both for the 31st Ambulance Train. They are:

  • 1/13 London Reg. 'B' Co. Laker, EH, (reason) Myalgia. Admitted 6 November 1916,  Transferred 7 November 1916, entrained ??, detrained ?? (see image attached courtesy of Find My Past)
  • 1/13 London Reg. 'C' Co. Laker, EH (reason) GSW Leg (L), Admitted 23 January 1917, Transferred 24 January 1917, entrained Merville, detrained Etaples (image attached courtesy of Find My Past)

 

Laker 2.jpg

Laker 3.jpg

Laker 4.jpg

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Google found this:

Dominic Winter Collectors Sale Hi Res by Jamm Design Ltd

https://issuu.com › docs › dw_15_16.11.12_high_res

14 Nov 2012 — 67* WWI Military Aircraft - Fokker & Morane Saulnier. ... R.), generally extremely fine 7828 Private Ernest Harry Laker served on the ........

I tried to find the entry, but it's a big catalogue.

Kath.

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52 minutes ago, Allan1892 said:

@Kath -- page 160-161, right page

Laker 5.jpg

Suspect that's a load of red herrings in that he probably never attested with the 2/6th Battalion nor was he killed in any push towards Cambrai. Minty Farm where Private Nichols was buried, and Dozingham where Private Currie was buried are both in Belgium and in the Ypres Salient.

2 hours ago, Allan1892 said:

'FORMERLY 6274, 1ST LONDON REGT' 

So going on those Medical Admission Register entries should read 1/13th - shame none of the helpful columns about length of service and number of months with the field force has been completed. Wonder if 7828 reflects his number with whatever unit he was posted onto the books of on being medically evacuated back to the UK, landing on the 31st January 1917. That may explain why his number under the new numbering system was so high - effectively the three thousand, seven hundred and fifty third man to be so renumbered. The London Regiment TF renumbering didn't stop changes of service numbers for some battalion transfers, but it's a bit of a dark art.

So 493753 could reflect that he received a new number on being posted back to France as back of a draft to the 13th Battalion, with the added complication that on reaching the Infantry Base Depot they were diverted to the 2/6th Battalion.

I don't subscribe to FMP or Ancestry but a quick check of search results available publicly shows.

493747 Jacob Hommelfalb has surviving service records. MiC, as Himmelfalb, shows his previous number was 7821, 13th Battalion.
493749 Alfred Davis Reading has surviving service records.
493750 William Frederick Pooley has surviving discharge records. MiC shows his previous number was 7824, 13th Battalion.
493756 Lionel Percy Woolley has surviving discharge records. MiC shows his previous number was 7831, 13th Battalion.
493757 Percy Edward Whirehead has surviving discharge records. MiC shows his previous number was 7832, 13th Battalion.

Looks like a bulk transfer, and the near absence of gaps in the old numbers would tend to suggest that the cohort who received the old numbers hadn't suffered any losses. Even a UK only unit would have been likely to suffer some attrition.

Hopefully somewhere in those five records there is an explanation.

Cheers,
Peter

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2 hours ago, Allan1892 said:

Just skimmed through each page until I saw Army items. :D

Hi, I’m not very good at the internet to be honest could you please explain if that means they have the medals and now I find the picture you posted. also thank you all for the information 

Owen

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WFA/Fold3 have his widow's pension claim

image.png.f7c4d71a5e81e8d0f5be5bace5688a31.png

WFA/Fold3

A £5 funeral grant and 13/9 pw was the basic standard lot for the widow of a private soldier.

M

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44 minutes ago, OwenMartin said:

Hi, I’m not very good at the internet to be honest could you please explain if that means they have the medals and now I find the picture you posted. also thank you all for the information 

Owen

The medals were up for auction and I presume that they were sold.

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On 23/06/2022 at 18:12, Allan1892 said:

The medals were up for auction and I presume that they were sold.

I’ve gotten in contact with the auction house and they’re are putting me in contact with the buyer. 
 

thanks for all the help and information 

Owen

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