No.G/17016, Private, Ernest THAKE
7th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Ernest THAKE was born at 5 Pound Row, Haverhill on 14th August 1898 (Risbridge Q3-1898 4A:779), baptised in St Mary's Haverhill on 24th September 1898,
son of James and Annie Maria THAKE (née BASHAM).
1901 census...Aged 3, he was at 5 Crowland Road, Haverhill with his father James THAKE  bricklayer's labourer; his mother Annie M.  hair weaver, born Clare; sisters Rose Lily , Nelly  and Florence ; brother Harry S . All except his mother were born in Haverhill.
1911 census... Aged 13, a labourer, he was at 5 Pound Row, Haverhill with his parents; brothers Harry (labourer); George , Horace ; sisters Rose (cotton finisher) Florence  and Emily . His mother had lost 3 of her 11 children.
He enlisted in Sudbury. The South West Suffolk Echo of 2nd October 1918 reported that:-
"Mr. and Mrs.Thake of 3 Down's Place, Haverhill have received information that their youngest [incorrect} son, Pte. E. Thake. of the Royal Sussex Regiment was killed in action on September 18th. Deceased, who was twenty years of age, joined up when he reached the age of eighteen. He was expecting leave in the near future. His parents received a letter from him a fortnight before he was killed. Prior to enlistment he was employed at Messrs Christmas and Co's brewery. Mr. and Mrs. Thake have another son still serving."
The Battalion were in the line in front of EPEHY, the war diary has:-
"18/9/1918 - Battalion attacked at dawn. Very heavy M.G. fire owing to EPEHY not being mopped up by the troops in front. Alpine Corps fought hard for the village. Our casualties about 200 OR, 5 officers killed, 8 wounded.
The battalion finally established positions E of EPEHY on the railway bank and remained under very heavy M.G. and sniper fire."
CWGC have 49 of the battalion killed, all except 3 buried together in Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery.
photo: Rodney Gibson
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details
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