Private 19236 Ernest Hawthorn

Killed in Action Gallipoli on Sunday, 8th August 1915, age 32.
Commemorated on Panel 101 to 104 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

7th Bn., Gloucestershire Regiment. 39th Brigade of 13th Division.

Husband of Mrs Martha Hawthorne, of 25 Stafford Street, Dudley, Worcs. (as at 1911 census)
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Dudley.

First landed France & Flanders, 10th June 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Dudley Clock Tower Memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/694502/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Ernest Hawthorn (no e) registered March quarter 1883 in Dudley.

1891 Census
1 Court 8 House Dudley Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Hawthorn (53, General Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Matilda(48, born Tipton), and their 3 children: Edward (11, Scholar, born Tipton), Ernest (9, Scholar, born Tipton), and Matilda (16, born Tipton).

1901 Census
11 Wades Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Hawthorne (61, Boatman on Canal, born Tipton), his wife Matilda (56, born Tipton), and just one son living at home: Ernest (age 17, Boatman on Canal, born Tipton).

Marriage of Ernest Hawthorne and Martha Timmins registered December quarter 1903 in Dudley.

1911 Census
25 Stafford Street, Dudley, Worcs.
Ernest Hawthorne (29, Boatman on Canal, born Tipton), his wife Martha (28, born Dudley), and their 4 surviving children of 5: Thomas (7, born Tipton), Ernest (5, born Tipton), Martha (3, born Tipton), and Samuel (8 months, born Dudley).

Personal Data

After Ernest's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £0/17/8d (17 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his widow, Martha, in April 1917. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds precisely), this was also paid to Martha in September 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Ernest had enlisted within the 12 months prior to his death.

Action resulting in his death

The 7th Gloucesters were in 39th Brigade of the 13th (Western) Division, this was one of the six new Kitchener K1 Divisions of the New Army. In June 1915 they moved to Alexandria, and in July moved to Mudros, prior to landing on Gallipoli, at Cape Helles, relieving the 29th Division. They returned to Mudros at the end of July, before the entire Division landed at Anzac Cove between 3rd to 5th August 1915.

The Division took part in the The Battle of Sari Bair: 6-10 August 1915. Sari Bair is a ridge of hiils at the northern end of the Anzac beachhead, the capture of this ridge was to be the centre piece of the August Gallipoli offensive. It would commence with the capture of the Turkish outposts covering the gullies running up to Sari Bair. Assaulting columns would then move up the gullies to capture the heights, including Chanuk Bair. All other elements of the August offensive depended on the successful outcome of this action. The attack commenced late on 6th August, but it was apparent by 8 a.m. on the 7th August that the plan was too ambitious. Progress up the gullies was difficult because of the terrain and the stubborn Turkish opposition.

The 39th Brigade was to have been in reserve, but as the plan was in danger of failing it was brought into action to attack Chanuk Bair. Due to a misunderstanding, the Brigade moved in the wrong direction. Runners were sent to recall the 4 Battalions, but could not contact the 7th Gloucesters who eventually became attached to the New Zealand Brigade. The attack on Chanuk Bair began at dawn on 8th August, and despite heavy losses initially took the Chanuk Bair objective which was still just being held when the Gloucesters were relieved that evening. The ridge was to be lost two days later to a strong Turkish counter-attack.

"Here the 7th Gloucesters suffered appalling losses, but still fought on unflinchingly, even when every single officer had been either killed or wounded, and every company sergeant-major and company quarter-master-sergeant had shared the same fate. From midday to nightfall, while beating off repeated counter-attacks, these gallant Gloucesters were reduced to small groups of men under junior NCOs or privates."

The 7th Gloucesters lost 186 men on the 8th August 1915 including Ernest Hawthorn. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings