COLE, Ernest Harry

No.5933318, Private, Ernest Harry COLE
Aged 25

1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Killed in Action on Sunday, 15th February 1942

Ernest Harry Cole was born on 19th September 1916 in Chippenham, (Newmarket Q4-1916 3B:755), baptised on 26th November 1916, son of Ernest Henry and Sarah Louise COLE (née WESTLEY).

In 1939 the family were at New Cottages, Snailwell - father [5-4-1894] a cowman; mother [30-8-1895]; brothers Charles R [1-10-1921] a farm labourer and George P [2-1-1933] scholar.

He died the day the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese. The 1st Cambridgeshires were holding their ground along the Adam Road. "Battalion at War - Singapore 1942" by Michael Moore relates that
"Pte Ernest COLE, Major Lawrence's orderly, was shot down and killed as he tried to carry a message to 'C' Company".

Post war interviews with some senior Japanese military personel revealed that the Japanese were desperately low on ammunition and food and it was quite possible that had the British held out for another 24 hours, they, the Japanese, may well have withdrawn.

photo from

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ernest Cole is buried in Kranji War Cemetery, grave 15:D:15

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