HARPER, Ernest

Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars. 23 April 1916

Ernest Harper lived in St. John's. Kates Hill, parish in Dudley and attended Claughton School. He was a member of the Conservative Club of the town and volunteered for the Worcestershire Hussars. They were sent to Gallipoli in 1915 as part of the 1st Mounted Division and took part in the August Suvla Bay landings. No progress was made in reaching the vital crest of the ridge and after the evacuation in December they were sent as part of the 5th Mounted Brigade to defend Egypt and the Suez Canal. With German military advisers the Turks decided to invade Egypt and won a considerable success on the 23rd April at Katia. Two Squadrons had been posted at Oghratina, a village some five miles in advance of Katia. The British force was light, but the Turks numbered 2,500. The Turks attacked at 7 a.m. and cut the wire in front of the British position. There was heavy firing until 7.15 and then quiet for some time. The Turks were helped by a fog which covered their advance and enabled them to surround the village. They then rushed the British forces. The Worcesters fought desperately, as was shown by the fact that eight of the thirteen officers were killed and three wounded. The problem was that shell fire had killed many horses and the Worcesters were unable to withdraw with the other cavalry units. Private Ernest Harper was among those killed in action. He was 39 years of age and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial and on the Dudley, St, John, Claughton School and the Conservative Club Memorials.

Commemorated at:

Dudley Gilbert Claughton school

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Dudley Gilbert Claughton school

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