Private Ernest Claude Norman

Date of Birth c. 1887
Age at Death 30
Date of Death 03/12/ 1917
Service Number 492687
Military Service 2nd Kensington Battalion London Regiment
Merton Address 18 Princes Road, Wimbledon
Local Memorial Rutlish School, Merton

Additional Information

Ernest Claude, the eldest son of Ernest William and Annie Low was born at 9 Bloomfield Road in Shepherd’s Bush on the 17th September 1887. His father Ernest William’s occupation has been revealed as an engineer manager according to his baptism record. Ernest Claude was baptized with his brother Stewart Wilfred at St Stephen’s parish in Hammersmith on 14th July 1889.

The 1901 Census reveals that the family were now recorded at living at 4 Dames Road in West Ham.

By 1911, the Census reveals that Ernest William and his youngest son Stewart Wilfred were now living at 18 Princes Road in Wimbledon while 24 year old Ernest Claude was serving as a Rifleman in India with the 2Bn The Rifle Brigade.

Ernest Claude died in action on the 27th December 1917 in Palestine. He is buried in The Jerusalem War Cemetery in Israel. Probate of his estate was inherited by his father.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Palestine (now Israel) was part of the Turkish Empire and it was not entered by Allied forces until December 1916. The advance to Jerusalem took a further year, but from 1914 to December 1917, about 250 Commonwealth prisoners of war were buried in the German and Anglo-German cemeteries of the city.

By 21 November 1917, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force had gained a line about five kilometres west of Jerusalem, but the city was deliberately spared bombardment and direct attack. Very severe fighting followed, lasting until the evening of 8 December, when the 53rd (Welsh) Division on the south, and the 60th (London) and 74th (Yeomanry) Divisions on the west, had captured all the city's prepared defences. Turkish forces left Jerusalem throughout that night and in the morning of 9 December, the Mayor came to the Allied lines with the Turkish Governor's letter of surrender. Jerusalem was occupied that day and on 11 December, General Allenby formally entered the city, followed by representatives of France and Italy.

Meanwhile, the 60th Division pushed across the road to Nablus, and the 53rd across the eastern road. From 26 to 30 December, severe fighting took place to the north and east of the city but it remained in Allied hands.


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