Ernest Arthur Clothier

Date of birth:  13th September 1885
Place of birth:  Portswood, Southampton
Service No.:  8095
Rank:  Private
Regiment / Division:  Dorsetshire
Battalion:  2nd Battalion
Died: 7th August 1916 aged 29 years
Death location: Mesopotamia

Three of the sons of William and Edith Sarah Clothier fought in the first world war; Ernest Arthur, Arthur William and Frank.  Only Arthur William came back.

Military Service
No service record has survived regarding Ernest Arthur Clothier.
Ernest Arthur was born in 1885. On 6th November 1914 he enlisted as a Private in the 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment (service number 8095). The 2nd Battalion was formed in August 1914 in Poona, India as part of 16th Indian Brigade commanded by Major-General Charles Townshend. On 6 November 1914 they landed in Fao on the Persian Gulf, for the campaign in Mesopotamia as part of Indian Expeditionary Force ‘D’.
On 29 April 1916 the battalion was captured at Kut-el-Amara. During the siege at Kut, a composite battalion, composed of returned wounded and other details from the 2nd Dorsets and 2nd Norfolks, was formed at El Orah. It was called the “English Composite Battalion” or the “Norsets” and was under command of the 21st Indian Brigade, 7th Indian Division. It was broken up on 21 July 1916 and the 2nd Dorsets re-established. Ernest Arthur was killed in action on 7th August 1916 shortly after his battalion arrived at Ali al Gharbi. He is buried at Bagdad Northgate cemetery. Full details of the engagements of the regiment can be found at: http://www.keepmilitarymuseum.org/mesopotamia_2nd_dorsets.php

He was posthumously awarded the Victory medal, the British medal and 1915 Star medal in recognition of his services to his country and is inscribed on the cenotaph at Southampton “lest we forget”.

The bronze Star campaign medal of the British Empire was awarded those who saw service in a prescribed Theatre of War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. Also known as the Mons Star this medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Pip’.

The silver British War Medal was awarded for service in World War One. Also called the British Empire campaign medal, it was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Squeak’.

The bronze Victory medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal was awarded to those who received the British War Medal. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Wilfred’.

Life before the war
Ernest Arthur was born on 13th September 1885, son of William Clothier, (born in 1848) a general labourer and Edith Sarah (occasionally Sarah Edith) nee Shergold (born 1858) who had married in the Autumn of 1879. Their marriage was registered in Southampton GRO reference vol2c page32.
They had a total of ten children but by 1911 two had died in infancy.
The following children of William and Edith Clothier are confirmed from parish records:
1. Esther Mary was born in 1881. In 1900 she married Percival Richard Blake.
2. Edith Jane was born 1883. In 1908 she married Ernest Webb.
3. Ernest Arthur was born in 1885. He was killed in action on 7th August 1916 and is buried at Bagdad Northgate cemetery.
4. Arthur William was born in 1887. 
5. Frank was born on 20th September 1889. He enlisted for service on 25th April 1915. He served as Corporal in the 2nd Hampshire Regiment (service number: 7975). Frank died from his wounds on 3rd April 1918 aged 29, and is buried in Wimereux.
6. Lillian May was born in 1892. In 1913 she married Henry G A Young. They had 6 children. After Henrys death in 1946, Lillian May married Stephen E Martin in 1948. After Stephens death in 1957 she married Alfred A Hurst in 1961. No death date was found for Lillian.
7. Lucy was born in 1895. In 1917 she married John Harry Whale (1894-1961). They had 4 children. Lucy died in 1998.
8. John was born on 22nd January 1897. In 1924 he married Gertrude Kavanagh. They had 2 children. John died in 1960.

In 1881 Sarah Edith and her 5 month old daughter Esther were enumerated in Nursling. Her husband William was not at home on 3rd April.
In 1891 the couple and 5 children were living in Old Portswood. William was employed as a general labourer.
In 1895 the family lived at 6 Marine Terrace, Southampton.
In 1901 the family lived at 38 Northcote Road, Portswood. William was still employed as a general labourer. Ernest Arthur, now 16 was employed at the Portswood laundry.
In 1911 Ernest Arthur Clothier was enumerated with his fellows in the Dorset Regiment in Ceylon India.

In 1911 his parents and younger siblings were still living in 38 Northcote Road, Old Portswood. His father was still employed as a farm labourer.

His mother Edith Sarah died in 1941 aged 83.
His father William Clothier died in 1914 aged 64.

Researched by DHW – 1/06/2013
If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email Southampton.cenotaph@hotmail.co.uk, or telephone 023 8086 9599 and we will contact you. Many thanks.

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