Ernest Turner was not a Stourbridge man by birth but came to the town as a journalist with an interest in politics. With his wife he lived in South Road, Stourbridge. He originally came to help the well known Liberal, Mr Nash, and was appointed the Liberal Agent for Mid-Worcestershire. His great success came in 1906 with the election of Cecil Harmsworth. In the early months of the war he joined the Artists' Rifles and was later commissioned in the Worcesters. He probably crossed with the 2/7th to France in May 1916 but later he served with the 2/8th. This battalion was involved in the later stages of the Somme from October 1916 and then in March 1917 in the advance to the Hindenburg Line. The battalion was ordered up to Flanders in August and fought in the Third Battle of Ypres from the 17th. A major attack was planned to cross the Steenbeek between Langemarck and Wieltje on the 27th August. The previous night was one of heavy rain and continuous bombardment which turned the terrain into knee-deep mud. The rain continued and the attack did not start until nearly 2 p.m. Much bravery was shown but few gains were made. Captain Lancelot Evers of Whitehall was awarded the Military Cross for his part but Second Lieutenant Turner was killed in action. His bravery was recognised by Colonel Bilton, commanding the battalion. He wrote that 'he was making a most valiant attempt to take a German position and rallied his platoon for another attempt, when he was shot through the head.' He was genuinely popular with his men, as other letters testified. Ernest Turner was 38 years of age and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot, Stourbridge and St. Thomas's church Memorials.
Town Hall, Priory Street, Dudley
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