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Corporal 16111 William Henry Earl
8th Battalion (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Royal Berkshire Regiment

Local Information:

Corporal Earl came from Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire. He worked in Hungerford and enlisted at Newbury on the outbreak of the First World War. He was killed in action on the 13th October 1915 during the battle of Loos. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos memorial to the missing.

[His middle name is shown on the CWGC as 'Henry' but it is believed it is 'Harry']

Newbury Weekly News – 2.12.1915:

Cpl William Harry Earl 'B' Company, 8th Royal Berks, has been reported as missing since the 13th October 1915. He was employed for six years as an assistant to Mr C. Bodman, Draper, High Street, Hungerford and joined the battalion last December (1914) and went to France on the 7th August 1915. His parents Mr and Mrs W.H. Earl, 12 Church St, Newport Pagnall would be grateful for any information concerning him.

Photo Gallery:

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- Cpl William Henry Earl

- Regimental Badge of the Royal Berkshires

Regimental Information:

The War Diary reads:

13.10.1915:
Hulloch (2nd Battle of Loos). On the 9th October the battalion moved into the old German third line (captured on the 25th September). At 11.30pm the battalion assumed its battle position with the black watch on the left and the London Scottish on the right. The objective was the German trench on the east side of the main road, not more than 200 yards from our own trench.

Chlorine gas was released at intervals from 1.00pm to 1.50pm. Our men went forward under smoke at 1.50pm and 2.00pm. It was reported at 2.10pm that our first lines had attained the road but were being enfiladed. Two of our support platoons were ordered forward and were joined by the Machine Gun Officer and his team. They only got 75 yards from our parapet when they came under machine gun fire and were cut down. The remainder of the battalion went over at 2.20pm but were no more successful than the others in reaching their objective.

During the night those men who had escaped crawled back to our front line trench.

Battalion Casualties 4th to 22nd October:
Officers Killed 4, Wounded 4, Missing and wounded 1, Missing 2.
Ors Killed 18, wounded 59, missing 65.

Point of Interest:

The 8th Battalion was a Service (or Kitchener) battalion and this attack was their second in three weeks. When they arrived in France they were allocated to the 1st (Regular) Division and were placed the same Brigade as seasoned Scottish regiments. On the 25th September 1915 they assaulted Hulloch, near Loos and were considered to have been successful. Cpl Earl would have taken part in that first attack.