Submitted by Paul Elliott.
My Great Uncle, Ernest Scriminger was born in Leeds in 1886. He was the eldest son in a family of 4 sons and 5 daughters. he worked as a grocer’s assistant before joining the 3rd Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment and serving in the Boer War.
He enlisted in the Green Howards in November 1904. he was almost 19 years of age, but was less than 5’4″ tall and only weighted 8 stone. The 2nd Battalion spent time in India and on garrison duty in South Africa before he transferred to the reserve.
He was recalled to the regiment on the outbreak of war in 1914 and went to Belgium in the October. He would have served in the 1st Battle of Ypres and at Estaires. 1st Ypres saw the 2nd Battalion reduced in strength from 1000 men to only 300, with 250 killed and many wounded and missing.
He was reported to be involved in the action at Neuve Chappelle on 12th March 1915, in which Corporal William Anderson won the Victoria Cross. Corporal Anderson lead a bombing unit of 9 men and succeeded in driving off the enemy with his bombs and those of his injured men. He is reported to have taken a large number of prisoners. He later died attempting a similar action.
Ernest was wounded and taken prisoner. He died in a prisoner of war camp at Nider Ochtenhausen a year later. Only a week after receiving a letter from him, requesting tobacco and pipes, his parents received a letter from a Lance Corporal Hambidge of the Wiltshire Regiment, informing them of his death. he died from erysipelas, St Anthony’ Fire, a bacterial skin infection. He was buried at Hamburg, “in a manner befitting a soldier”, with the other prisoners of war in attendance.
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