Ernest Woolley was born in Dudley but his nearest relative in 1914 was his sister, Mrs Sutton of 85 Cromwell Street, Red Lane, Coventry. He was a pre-war regular soldier serving in the 2nd Battalion of the Worcesters. They were part of the British Expeditionary Force stationed at Aldershot and mobilized on the outbreak of war. They were in France on the 12th August and moved into Belgium to reach Mons just before the German advance reached the town. They were greatly outnumbered and went into retreat, covering 150 miles in ten days to reach the Marne. A brave rally halted the German forces in the decisive Battle of the Marne. Advance took them back to the Aisne and in the wooded valley the enemy stood firm. The Worcesters were then sent in mid-October to cover the next major German advance in Flanders. They arrived at Ypres and immediately ordered forward to meet the German forces. They met at Langemarck on the morning of the 21st and, although the Worcesters suffered heavily over the next three days, the German advance was halted. For the first time Ypres was saved. Among those killed in action on the 24th was Private Ernest Woolley who was 27 years of age and is commemorated on the Menin Gate and Dudley Memorials.
Town Hall, Priory Street, Dudley
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