EAST HADDON HISTORY SOCIETY Northamptonshire, England

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ERNEST EDWARD THOMPSON

Edward and Emily Thompson, who were both teachers at East Haddon school, had three children, all born in East Haddon: Ernest Edward (b.17/1/1884) the eldest, his brother William and his sister Emily.

Ernest went to St John’s College, Cambridge, in October 1903 at the age of 19. He was a member of the debating society, and the chess club in which he served as secretary and vice president.

Throughout his life he was a keen sportsman, playing cricket for Northampton County and also for St John’s college Cambridge.

In September 1906, after graduating from Cambridge, Ernest became a teacher at Banham Grammar School. Here he stayed until 1909 when Banham School merged with Thetford  School.

In July 1914 Ernest became Headmaster of  Diss secondary School.

By May 1917 Ernest was in the Artist’s Rifles Officer training Corps. On 11 March 1918 with his training complete, he became a second lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

On 26th September 1918 he joined the 228th Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery in France. His job as a second lieutenant was to command a crew of ten gunners allocated to one of the six six inch howitzers in the battery. They were often the target of heavy German fire.

On 16th October, having been continuously in action since the 3rd October, Ernest was killed by enemy fire whilst in action near the northern French town of Le Cateau. Five members of the battery were standing round the centre pole of a small dug out in the bank of a road near the battery. A shell exploded in the road and a piece of shrapnel struck Ernest in the head, and he was killed instantly.

Ernest had been in France for just 3 weeks when he was killed.


Besides East Haddon war memorial, Ernest is also commemorated at St John’s College Cambridge, on Diss War memorial, and on his grave in Maurois Communal cemetery in France.

Click here to see a selection of pictures relating to Ernest

Rank:                2nd Lieutenant

Service No:      Royal Garrison Artillery