Private 35370 Alfred Ernest Chatwin

Chatwin Alfred Ernest 96 430x600

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 7th August 1918, age 19.
Buried in Grave D. 19. at Le Vertannoy British Cemetery, Hinges, Pas De Calais, France.

2nd Bn., Wiltshire Regiment. 58th Brigade of 19th Division.

Son of Alfred and Esther Chatwin, of "Melrose," Victoria Rd., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/247610/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Alfred Ernest Chatwin registered March quarter 1899 in Dudley.

1901 Census
21 Brewery Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Alfred Chatwin (30, Ironfounder, born West Bromwich), his wife Esther H. (36, born Tipton), and their 2 children: Alfred E. (2, born Tipton), and Winifred A. (8 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
22 Victoria Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Alfred Chatwin (40, Ironfounder, born West Bromwich), his wife Esther H. (46, born Tipton), and their 2 children: Alfred Ernest (12, born Tipton), and Winifred Annie (10, born Tipton).

Personal Data

This man is commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial as E. Chatwin (probably known as Ernie), but it is the correct man as the 'Staffordshire Roll of Honour' says E. Chatwin, Wilts Regiment.

After Alfred's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £7/13/1d (7 pounds, 13 shillings and 1 penny); this was paid to his father, Alfred, in April 1919. His War Gratuity was £5/10/0d (5 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his father in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Alfred had enlisted in approximately April 1917.

Action resulting in his death

As the German Spring Offensive (Operation Michael) began on 21st March 1918, the 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment (2/Wilts) were just west of St Quentin. They were over-run and lost 22 Officers and 600 Other Ranks.

The Battalion was re-formed, but on 29th May they once again they suffered heavy casualties. This time they were about 9 miles south-west of Reims in the area of the River Marne.

After again being re-built, the 2/Wilts moved to the Loos sector. On the evening of 6th August, they moved to a position near Hinges, about 3 miles north of Bethune.

The War Diary for 7th August reads:
Location: France, Trenches
Battalion in Outpost Line NE of HINGES.
"A" & "B" Companies in front line (shell-hole posts) and "C" & "D" Companies in support trenches. At about 6am a wire was received from 4th Division on our left that the enemy was withdrawing on their front and that they were pushing forward.
Immediately we pushed out 2 reconnoitring patrols. Both patrols came under machine gun fire before advancing very far and were forced to return. Enemy machine guns and snipers were found to be very much on the alert.
On "B" Company’s front machine guns were persistently active from VERTBOIS FARM. The artillery was called for and made excellent practise much to the discomfort of the Hun, who emerged in an undignified manner and made tracks from the place at the double.

During the day, 3 men of 2/Wilts were killed in action, this included Alfred Chatwin. All 3 men are buried in Le Vertannoy British Cemetery, Hinges.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald August 24th 1918
Roll of Honour
CHATWIN - Killed in action in France, August 7th. Ernest, dearly-loved and only son, of Alfred and Esther Chatwin, "Melrose", Victoria Road, Tipton; aged 19 years.