Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Story of Earnest Henry Gregor

Letter reporting the discovery of Earnest's remains during "bringing in" of graves:

Earnest enlisted at Quorn in March 1916 when he was 18 years old. He was 165cm (5 feet 5 inches) and 58 kg (128 pounds) with fair hair and light brown eyes, he had been working as a farm labourer. Exactly one month later he was aboard HMAT Aeneas and bound for the war. He was allotted to 50th Battalion in Egypt at Tel el Kebir at the end of May where he would have continued his training.
Earnest must have been rushed to Europe with not much training as he disembarked in Marseilles from the HMAT Arcadian on the 12th of June, less than three and a half months after enlistment. During July earnest was admitted to the Second Casualty Clearing Station suffering from gastritis.

On the 16 August Earnest was reported as missing in the fighting around Moquet Farm.

No prisoner records were available from the Germans and a court of enquiry held almost a year later returned the verdict that Earnest was killed the night he went missing. Also killed in this battle was Francis Rogers, whose story will be recounted later.

Unlike many of the other Quorn men who would be reported missing, including Francis Rogers, remains found in 1921 during the bringing in of graves from Moquet Farm were identified as belonging to Earnest. He was reinterred at Ovillers British Cemetery. Of all the Quorn soldiers who saw active service, Earnest has the unfortunate distinction of serving for the shortest time, 168 days.
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