In Memory of
ERNEST SHUTTLEWOOD
Private 28225
11th Bn.9 Border Regiment
who died on Tuesday, 10th July 1917.
Age 30.
 
 
Commonwealth
War Graves
Commission
 
 
            Casualty_Details :       1640929
 
               
 
 
Personal Information

Son of Mrs. Jessie Shuttlewood and the late John Shuttlewood of The Gore, Rayne, Braintree, Essex.

Born in Easton.Ernest was the eldest of nine children, George (who was also killed – see below), Evelin, John, Winifred, Hilda, Dorothy, William and Ashley. However, he had an older step-brother, Henry. At that time, George was head of the house and the two children were shown as Henry and Ernest Brand. It is assumed that these were Jessie’s children by a previous marriage.

In 1918, John Shuttlewood had two sons baptised at All Saints Rayne on 4th August 1918 and he boys were named Ernest John and George Samuel.

Ernest enlisted at Saffron Walden.

 
Memorial: Grave
 
Reference/Panel Number:

Location:
NIEUPORT MEMORIAL, Nieuwpoort, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium Nieuport (now Nieuwpoort) is a town in the Province of West Flanders on the south-west side of the River Yser, 3 kilometres from the sea. The Nieuport Memorial is on a site where the road to Lombardsijde joins the road from Nieuport dock. It commemorates over 500 British officers and men who fell in operations of 1914 and 1917 on the Belgian coast and whose graves are not known. The Memorial takes the form of a pylon of Euville stone, 8 metres high, surrounded by a bronze band on which are cast the names of the casualties commemorated. It stands on a triangular paved platform, and at each corner of the triangle is the recumbent figure of a lion facing outwards.
 
 THE NIEUPORT MEMORIAL REGISTER NUMBER 31. I.-THE TOWN OF NIEUPORT. NIEUPORT (now officially Nieuwpoort) is a small town in the Province of West Flanders, on the South-West side of the Yser river, two miles from the sea. A mile North of it is the village of Lombartzyde; a mile to the South is the village of Ramscapelle; and a mile East, almost on the river, is the village of St. Georges. The river is joined at Nieuport by a canal running parallel to the sea from Furnes to Bruges. The town was of some military importance as early as the Ninth Century. In the year 1160 the trade and part of the population of Lombartzyde were moved to it, and it received its present name. It was sacked by the men of Ghent in 1383. It stood a siege by the French in 1488-89. In July 1600 the Battle of Nieuport, in which the Spaniards were defeated by Maurice of Orange, was fought between Nieuport and Lombartzyde. At the outbreak of war the town was unimportant, except as possessing some old buildings; its trade was small, and its fortifications had been destroyed for fifty years.
 
II.-NIEUPORT IN THE GREAT WAR (I). For the first two months of the war the fighting in Belgium was far East of the ; line of the Yser. The German forces were held back by the Belgian Army and the fortifications of Antwerp. A small British force landed at Ostende and remained unmolested for a few days at the end of August. In October a more serious effort was made by the French and British Governments to save Antwerp and the coast of West Flanders. To relieve Antwerp, the 87th French Territorial Division and the Brigade of Fusiliers Marins, and the British Royal Naval, 7th, and 3rd Cavalry Divisions, arrived on the coast at different dates early in October. The Royal Naval Division alone reached Antwerp, where they made a short but gallant stand; retreating with the Belgian Field Army, they lost part of their number by an accidental invasion of Holland and re-embarked the rest. The French Marines and the two British Divisions covered the retreat of Belgian forces from Ghent, and the British Divisions were placed under Sir John French's command on the 9th October. The whole British Army was drawn South to Ypres and La Bassee. The coast was left alone by the Germans until the Race to the Sea had spent itself. The Belgians evacuated Ostende on the 12th October, and the Germans occupied it on the 15th. The next day the Germans advanced; but the allied line was now complete, the war of manoeuvre was ended, and the Battle of the Yser began. The Battle of the Yser was part of a general German attack which stretched from the sea to La Bassee. A Belgium memorial of this battle was unveiled at nieuport in October 1930. It raged until the 10th November, and in the result the Allied front rested on the Yser and the Yser Canal from the sea to Bixschoote. The six Belgian Divisions, assisted by British Monitors on the coast and by the voluntary flooding of their front, had held the line as far South as a point a little North of Dixmude. The town of Dixmude and its neighbourhood had been held by the French Fusiliers Marins and some Belgian troops, and, when the town was lost on the 10th November, the Germans could get no further. From that date for nearly three years the Nieuport front was quiet.
 
HI.-NIEUPORT IN THE GREAT WAR (2). In June 1917, the British Fourth Army (now reduced to the XV Corps) took over the sector from St. Georges to the sea from the XXXVI French Corps. This force, if the progress of events on the Ypres front justified it, was to attack along the coast towards Ostende. It held a line in front of the Yser, and roughly parallel to the river, from a point between Lombartzyde-Bains and the river mouth to a point between Lombartzyde and Nieuport; thence almost due East to the North-West comer of the Nieuwland Polder, where the flooded area began; and thence on the West side of the water to St. Georges. The town of Nieuport, almost destroyed above ground, had been equipped by the French troops with a considerable system of tunnels. The 1st and 32nd Divisions came to Nieuport in the middle of June, and the 66th (East Lancashire) Division at the end of June. On the 10th July the enemy began an intense bombardment, which was followed in the evening by what is known as the German Attack on Nieuport. The blow fell, in particular, on the 1st Division. Parties from two Battalions of this Division (the 1st Northampton’s and the 2nd King's Royal Rifles) were holding the rest of the line from the sea for a mile South-Eastwards; they were cut off by the demolition of the bridges, and annihilated, except for 76 officers and men who swam the river. The 32nd Division, immediately North of Nieuport, lost its advanced trenches but retained the bridgehead. Fighting continued until the 17th, but the new line was held. In that month of July the 1st Division sustained over 2,000 casualties and the 32nd Division nearly 1,000. In the middle of July the 49th (West Riding) Division joined the XV Corps, and the 33rd Division came at the end of July. No further offensive move was made on either side, though the monthly casualties of the Divisions were heavier than in other quiet sectors. The advance made from Ypres was too slow and too costly to justify a diversion from Nieuport. The Divisions continued to change. The 33rd Division left at the end of August, the 49th Division in the middle of September and the 66th Division at the end of September. The 42nd (East Lancashire) Division came early in September, and the 41st Division at the end of the month. The 1st and 32nd Divisions left in October, and the 9th (Scottish) Division came. In the middle of November the 41st Division left for Italy, and the 9th and 42nd, relieved by two French Divisions, returned to the original British front. The occupation of Nieuport by the British forces was ended. The sector was handed over by the French XXXVI Corps to the Belgians in February, 1918. On the 28th September, 1918, the Anglo-Belgian offensive in Flanders began. On the 14th October the 5th and 2nd Belgian Divisions moved out from Nieuport, and by the night of the 15th they had reached Ostende.
 
IV.-THE MEMORIAL. To record the names of those British officers and men who fell in the operations of 1914 and 1917 on the Belgian coast, and whose graves are not known, a Memorial is erected on the open space where the road to Lombartzyde, after crossing the Yser, joins the road from Nieuport Docks. The place selected is within the British line held by the 32nd Division after the 10th July, 1917. The Monument is a pylon of Euville stone, twenty-four feet high, surrounded by a bronze band on which are cast the names of the dead. It stands on a triangular paved platform, and at each comer of the triangle is the recumbent figure of a lion facing outwards. Of the 549 officers and men named on the Memorial, 21 are sailors and soldiers who fell in 1914; one is a sailor who fell near Coxyde in September, 1915; and the remaining 527 belonged to the XV Corps and the year 1917. Of these latter, 291 fell on the 10th, 11th or 12th July, 1917; and, of the units represented, the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment claim 83, various Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry 72, the 2nd King's Royal Rifles 63, the 11th Border Regiment 57, the Territorial battalions of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 40, and the 16th Northumberland Fusiliers 41. The Register contains the names of 549 sailors, soldiers and Marines from the United Kingdom. One soldier of the 2nd Australian Tunnelling Company, who fell here on the 10th July, 1917, is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.
 
Theatre of War

Private Shuttlewood was serving with the Border Regiment near Nieuport on the Belgian Coast. This was the extreme end of the Western Front, which stretched from the Belgian coast to the borders of Switzerland. Again this area would be classed as a relatively quiet sector of the front, but as the daily casualty lists showed there was really no such thing.

Address given at
Remembrance Sunday at All Saints, Rayne 2009 

This morning I am going to talk about Ernest Shuttlewood who died on 10th July 1917 at the age of 30.

As with some of the men recorded on the Memorial, Ernest Shuttlewood was not from Rayne. However his mother, Jessie had, by the time the Memorial was erected moved to The Gore and asked that her two sons who had died in the War – Ernest and George – be commemorated on the Memorial.

The family had always lived in the Felsted and Dunmow area and Ernest, the eldest of eight children, was born in Great Easton in 1887. Ernest enlisted in Saffron Walden and became a member of the Border Regiment.
 
In 1917, the 11th Battalion of the Regiment were stationed in Belgium, and in June, took over responsibility for an area that included the Belgian coastal town of Nieuport. The plan was that if the battles in the Ypres area justified it, the Battalion would attack along the coast towards Ostend. The town of Nieuport, almost destroyed above ground, had been equipped by the French troops with a considerable system of tunnels which the British forces used for cover. On the 10th July the enemy began an intense bombardment, which was followed in the evening by what is known as the German Attack on Nieuport. Parties from two Battalions of this Division were holding the line from the sea for a mile South-Eastwards; they were cut off by the demolition of the bridges, and annihilated, except for 76 officers and men who swam the river. In that month of July the forces that Ernest was with sustained over 3,000 casualties of which Ernest was one.
 
A survivor of the battle wrote “I shall always remember the 10th July 1917. On this day, the Germans start their twenty-four hours’ intense bombardment with high explosive and gas shells, and, during this terrible time, we had, I regret, many, many casualties. You were safe nowhere. All the time, cellars and dugouts rocked with the terrible explosions. God alone knows how men endure such terrible times.”
 
Another account describes the bombardment as being the heaviest the Battalion had ever been in, getting to an unprecedented level of violence. One of the features of the bombardment was the use of a very large number of tear gas shells, which at that time were a new weapon and caused great suffering. If there is anything positive to say about this battle it is that by the end, the enemy attempt had broken down and the Division was congratulated on its successful efforts.
 
Ernest Shuttlewood – At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember him.