MACKENDER, Ernest C.


5785, Rifleman, Ernest Charles. MACKENDER
Aged 30


King's Royal Rifle Corps, 1st Battalion
previously 4292 Suffolk Regiment 12th of Foot
Killed in Action on Friday 30th October 1914 (Soldiers Died)
Died of his Wounds on Thursday 29th October 1914 (National Roll of the Great War)

An Old Contemptible

Born in Lakenheath [Mildenhall Q1-1884 4A:677]

1891 census...Aged 7, he was living at Sandpits, Lakenheath with his father- Charles MACKENDER (transcribed as MACHIDER) [30] a farm labourer; mother- Martha (née RUTTERFORD) [26]; sister- Mary [3]; sister Lizzie [1] and widowed grandmother Emily RUTTERFORD [65]. All were born in Lakenheath.

1901 census... Aged 17, a farm labourer, living at Sandpits, Lakenheath with his parents, sisters Mary and Lizzie and sister- Emily [9] and brother Bert [5], both born in Lakenheath. The records now shows him as Ernest J and the surname is shown as MACKANDER.

1911 census...Aged 27 , he is now a bricklayers labourer, married, and with his wife Mary [22] born Sutton, Nottinghamshire and son Ernest John (1 week] born Hythe, Kent, is lodging at 55 Stade Street, Hyde, Kent with Mrs Emma King. He had married Mary Ann WARD on 19th January 1911 in Hythe, Kent.

They went on to have 3 children, all at Hythe. Ernest John 27th March 1911, James Herbert 12th December 1912 and Richard 10th February 1914.


Enlisted in Brandon.
On 19th January 1903 he enlisted in the Suffolk Regiment, 12th of Foot. He gave his age as 17 years ?? 5ft 3"(160 cm)tall , weighing 100 lbs (45.5 kg) and chest 30" to 33" (76.2 to 83.8 cm) fresh complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. C of E. Apart from giving his next of kin as father Charles MACKENDER of Sandpits, Lakenheath that is all on those records.

A year later, on 7th January 1904 he signed up with the King's Royal Rifle Corps, for 3 years and 9 on Reserve, later extended to 7 years and 5 on Reserve. He gave his age now as 19 years and previous service in the 4th Suffolks.
This time on enlistment he was 5' 41/4" tall, weighed 113 lbs and chest 34 to 36 ". After 6 months this improved to 5'5" tall, 122 lbs . His service shows:- Home 7/1/1904 to 7/1/1907; India 8/1/1907 to 1/2/1910; Home 2/2/1910 to 6/1/1911 when he transferred to the Reserves. . Mobilised in 1914 he was in France.Belgium for 50 days before his death. Some records state he died of wounds, but most state "Killed in Action" which is commensurate with his unknwon grave.
At the time of his death his family were at 7 High Street, Hythe, but by 1919 they had moved to 18 Abbeyfields, Faversham, Kent

The 1st KRRC had been set to attack Langemarck NE of Ypres between 21st and 24th October but against an overwhelmingly large force they failed to reach that objective. By mid-day on the 31st the Queens, Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Welsh and the Kings Royal Rifles had been overwhelmed, Gheluvelt was lost and a serious gap punched in the British line. By some miracle they reformed and held, saving Ypres and the Channel ports.
17 of the 1st Kings Royal Rifles were killed on the 30th, none has an identified grave, all are named on the Menin Gate in Ypres

His entry in the National Roll of the Great War 1914-1918 reads:
" MACKENDER, E., Rflmn., King's Royal Rifle Corps.
He was mobilised in August 1914, and shortly afterwards was sent to France, where he took part in the Retreat from Mons, and in many other engagements, and was wounded. He unfortunately died from his injuires on 29th October 1914, and was entitled to the Mons Star,and the General Service and Victory Medals.
"He joined the great white company of valiant souls"




No Known Grave
Ernest is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ieper, Belgium..panels 51 & 53

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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