RIX, Ernest

No.13707, Private, Ernest RIX [RISE]
Aged 21

9th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 16th September 1916

Ernest Rix was born on 5th February 1895 in Great Barton (Thingoe Q1-1895 4A:818), baptised on 26th May 1895 in Great Barton (Holy Innocents), son of Robert William and Eleanor Carola RIX (née GILLINGS).

He was admitted to Stanton School in 1900

1901 census...Aged 6, he was at The Street, Stanton, Suffolk with his father Robert W RIX [34] police constable, born Cromer; his mother Eleanor [40] born Debenham, Suffolk; brothers Charles [10], Robert [9] both born in Gt Barton and John [9 months] born in Stanton; sisters Alice [4] and Bessie [2] both born in Gt Barton.

1911 census...Aged 16, a farm labourer, he was at West Row with his parents; brother John and sisters Alice and Bessie. One sibling (Robert in 1910 ?)had died.

Enlisted in West Row. Military sources are ambiguous, he is RIX in CWGC and "Soldiers Died", but RISE on medal index card, award rolls and Soldiers Effects register. The image below shows how this may have come about, the 'x' being written in a flowery manner which can mistaken for 'se' Also from "Soldiers Effects" they have death as 13-16 September.

On the 13th September, the 9th Suffolks were part of the attack on the Quadrilateral, got through the German outpost line easily but the were checked by machine gun fire from the Quadrilateral. Several attempts were made but eventually they had to dig in only half a mile from their start point.

On the 15th the objective for the 71st Brigade was the ridge between Morval and Lesboeufs. This was the opening day of the Flers-Courcelette battle.. Zero hour was 6:20 am, but the Suffolks, in support of the 9th Norfolks were not required to move until 90 minutes later, by which time the barrage had increased and once again, withering machine gun fire from the Quadrilateral made forward movement impossible. All the senior officers were killed or wounded, leaving Lieut. Allerton in command. They were relieved around midnight. Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" puts the casualties as 4 officers killed and 35 O.R. - 71st Officers wounded, 99 O.R. and 2 officers and 93 O.R. missing. Many of the missing were later reported killed

CWGC has 9 killed on 15th, but 100 on the 16th of which only 21 have identified graves. Fred Prentice was also killed in this same action.

The Bury Free Press of 14th October 1916 reported :-

The sad news has been received that Prvt Ernest Rix, of he 9th Suffolk Regt., son of P.C. Robt.W.Rix of this village, was killed in action about the 16th September. He joined with 20 others at a recruiting meeting in September 1914, and went to France in the August following. Prvt Rix was only 21 years of age.

amended map from Sherwood Foresters website

Ernest Rix is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, pier and face 1C/2A
and also commemorated on the war memorial in Mildenhall

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