Lance Corporal Ernest Chandler

Regiment: 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Service No: L/9556
Date & place of birth: 1891/2 at Lodsworth Common
Date & place of death:
9 May 1915 at Richebourg L’Avoué, France, aged 23

Two brothers from this branch of the Chandler family, well known in this area, both served in the Royal Sussex Regiment in World War 1 and lost their lives on the Western Front.

Family background

Ernest Chandler was born at Lodsworth Common in 1891/2 and was baptised on 13 March 1892 at St Peter’s church Lodsworth. He was the son of John Chandler, a farm labourer and wooden hoop maker of Lodsworth, and his wife Rosa Ellen née Etherington, originally from Lurgashall. They had married in 1887.

Ernest was a carter before he enlisted in the army.

Military service

Ernest’s attestation papers show that he enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regiment in Chichester on 2 January 1911 as Private L/9556. Later in 1911 he was stationed at the Regiment’s depot in Chichester.

During World War 1 he served in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, part of the Army’s 1st Division. On 12 August 1914 he embarked for France. During 1914 they were involved in the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne, the First Battle of Ypres and the Winter Operations of 1914-15.

Ernest was awarded the Mons Star for serving in the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front. His Medal Roll Index Card shows that he had been promoted to Lance Corporal.

During this time he was wounded but recovered.

Death & commemoration

West Sussex Gazette 1915
West Sussex Gazette 1915

Ernest was killed in action at Richebourg L’Avoué on 9 May 1915 in the Battle of Aubers Ridge: it is estimated that more than 400 officers and over 10,400 men perished there that day, including 14 officers and 551 men of the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.

He was aged 23.

He is commemorated on Panel 20 and 21 of the Le Touret Memorial at Richebourg L’Avoué and on the Lodsworth war memorial.

Subsequent family history

At the time of Ernest’s death his parents were living at 272 Leggatt Hill, Lodsworth.

Ernest’s older brother, Frederick, also serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in 1917.

His mother, Rosa Ellen Chandler, died on 2 January 1932 aged 67. His father, John Chandler, died on 30 March 1938 aged 75. They were both buried in St Peter’s churchyard, Lodsworth.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project