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First Name: Ernest Last Name: CHAMBERLAIN
Date of Death: 20/10/1915 Lived/Born In: Childs Hill
Rank: Private Unit: East Surrey8
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Age-26

9A Elm Terrace, Childs Hill

Norfolk Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, France

8th East Surrey of 55 Brigade, arrived in France in July 1915 along with the rest 18th Division and  in August moved to the Somme, a sector of the Western Front that had recently been taken over from the French. By the end of that month they were holding the line in front of the village of Fricourt, some five miles to the east of Albert. This was an area where both sides were engaged in a great deal of tunnelling in an attempt to blow up the enemy’s trenches and at 5.40am on 20th October, 1915, the Germans exploded a mine which isolated and cut off party of Royal Engineer miners. This party was then gassed and six of them were killed. 8th East Surrey were in the line at the time and three men went forward to the sap where the miners were trapped and succeeded in rescuing a number of them. The enemy tried but failed to take possession of the crater that had been formed by the explosion and that afternoon they targeted the trenches held by 8th East Surrey with trench mortars and rifle grenades which killed three men, including Private Chamberlain.

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