Egbert Edward Early

Date of birth: 1882
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: Not known
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: Lincolnshire
Battalion: 1/5th (Territorial Force)
Died: 13th October 1915 aged 33 years
Death location: Battle of Loos


Life before the War
Egbert was the second of 6 siblings born to Egbert Rougier and Ellen Eliza, nee Corke.  Both parents were born in Chatham in Kent, Egbert in 1861 and Ellen in 1862.  Egbert was a Brewer’s Traveller.  The couple married in Southampton in 1880 and lived in Howards Road, Shirley.

Egbert Snr died in 1924 in Southampton, with Ellen passing away in 1931 in Mitford, Norfolk.

There is a clue as to why Egbert Jnr joined the Lincolnshires, he is shown as visiting the Walker family in Louth at the time of the 1911 Census.

Egbert’s 5 siblings were:

Nellie Elvira   b.1880 Southampton and d. 1954 Fakenham.  Married firstly to Arthur Robert Lankester (d.1906) in Southampton in 1902, and then to John Kitton Howlett in Mitford in 1909.  She had a daughter Elvira Gwendoline (born in Southampton) from her first marriage, and a son John Godfrey (born in Norfolk) from her second marriage.

John Howard   b.1884 Southampton but date of death not known.  There is no history for this brother, although there is a hint that he may have gone to New Zealand when young.

Cecil Dean   b.1890 Southampton and d. 23rd August 1918 during 23.8.1918 at Courcelles-le-Comte, 25 kms south of Arras.  Please select Cecil’s name to read more of his story.

Rita Gwendoline   b.1894 Southampton and d.1980 North Walsham, Norfolk.  Married William W. Wilson in Southampton in 1918.  They had a son in 1923, Douglas R. William. who was born in Alverstoke.

Irene Linda   b.1898 Southampton and d.1977 New Forest.  Married Alan R. Nock in Southampton in 1919.  They had a son b.1921 and d.1999, Neville Robert, and a daughter b.1922 but date of death not known, Rosalind Irene.  Both were born in Exeter.


Service History
The 1/5th Lincolnshires landed in France on 1 March 1915 as part of the 138th Brigade of the 46th Divison.

Egbert almost certainly perished during the Battle of Loos, around the Hohenzollern Redoubt.  This was the largest British offensive mounted in 1915 and the action commenced on 25 September.  Casualties were high on both sides of the “Autumn Battle”.  The encounter was notable for it being the first time the British used gas as a weapon.  It was not a huge success, some of the gas blew back over British lines and troops removed fogged-up gas masks just to be able to see and breathe.  The British forces attempted a final attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13 October, but it failed, mainly because of a lack of hand grenades.

Egbert’s name is on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, Panel 31-34.  The Loos Memorial commemorates 20,616 men who have no known grave.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published.: 13th January 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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