Biography of Corporal Ernest Norman Badger (9772)
1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment
Died 30th April 1915
- Name: Ernest Norman Badger
- Date of birth: 1893
- Place of Birth: Norton, Worcestershire, England
- Date of Birth Registration: July – September 1893
- Place of Birth Registration: Pershore, Worcestershire, England
- Name: Edward Badger
- DOB: 1859
- Place of Birth: Tardebigge, Worcestershire, England
- Occupation: Schoolmaster, head teacher
- Name: Lizzie Saunders
- DOB: 28th January 1866
- Place Of Birth: Catshill, Worcestershire, England
- Marriage: 12th October 1887 Catshill, Worcestershire, England
Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)
- Beatrice Alice Badger, 1888, Catshill
- Lilian Sophia Badger, 1889, Catshill
- Edward Gerald Badger, 1891, Catshill
- Ernest Norman Badger, 1893, Norton
- Reginald Charles Badger, 1896, Norton (Died 1897)
- Hubert Badger, 1901, Langtoft
- 1901: Ernest is living with his parents at Pinfold End, Langtoft, Lincolnshire.
- 1911: Ernest is living with his Regiment the Bedfordshires at Government Barracks, Kempston, Bedfordshire. The census gives him an age of 17 and he is listed as a Private.
Relatives in services
- Ernest’s brother Edward was also in ww1 but was discharge being unfit and was awarded a silver war badge.
- No marriage for Ernest has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.
- Wednesday 30th September 1914
All the newspapers below reported him MISSING
Belfast News Letter, Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Northern Whig, Sheffield Daily Telegraph, The Scotman and The Times.
Corpl. E. N. Badger 9772 Bedford Regiment
- Bedford Times and Independant Friday 2nd October 1914
Missing. 9772, Corpl E. N. Badger
- The Standard Thursday 9th December 1915
INDEX TO CASUALTY LIST
Previously Reported Missing Now Killed or Died
BEDFORD REGT., 1st BN. – Badger, 9772 Cpl. E.
- None found
Soldier’s Died In The Great War
- These records show that Corporal Ernest Norman Badger, 9772, 1st Bn Bedfordshire Regiment was killed in action on 30th April 1915 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.
Effects Left To
- Mother Lizzie
- The British Medal
The Victory Medal
The 14 Star
- Langtoft, Roll of Honour in St Michael and All Angels Church
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
- In memory of Corporal Ernest Norman Badger, 9772, 1th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment who died on 30 April 1915 Age 21
- Son of Lizzie Badger, of Wittering, Wansford, Peterborough, and the late Edward Badger. Native of Langtoft, Peterborough
- Remembered with honour, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
© Pauline Riley
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
Military Service Timeline
From Ernest’s military records we know that Lizzie, being next of kin, was still living at the Schoolhouse when Ernest was mobilised for war a mere month after his father’s death.
Ernest Badger had joined the Army before 1911 and he is listed on the 1911 census in barracks at Kempston Bedfordshire. He was serving with the 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment and at the age of 17 is listed as the rank of Private. Unfortunately we can’t find Ernest’s Service Record and like so many others, were most likely destroyed during a warehouse fire in the Blitz.
The 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment were stationed at Mullingar at the outbreak of war and between the 5th and the 13th August they prepared everything needed for mobilisation.
On the 14th they entrained at 2am for the journey to Belfast. After arriving they embarked on the SS Oronsa about 2pm and sailed for Le Havre getting there on the night of the 15th.
The next morning the Battalion disembarked and marched to a camp on the top of a hill, they noted in the diary that it was very muddy. After camping overnight and spending the day in camp they marched to the station late at night arriving around midnight.
The 6am train on the 18th took them to Le Cateau and after detraining at 10am they marched to Pommereuil, arriving around midnight. At Pommereuil they were billeted and waited for the arrival of the remainder of the 5th Division, 2nd Army Corps. Finally on the 21st they started their advance to Mons marching south for their next billets at Gommines. The next days march brought them within 6 miles of Mons where they billeted at Bois Boussu.
The following information is taken from the Battalion Diary for the 1st Bedfords:-23rd August 1914 – MonsAbout midday ordered to proceed to WASMES with two companies Bedfordshire regiment to reconnoitre position and dig trenches. No immediate fighting expected, started digging. Men were unexpectedly shelled enemy attacked later in afternoon and we had a few casualties. Commanding officer recalled personally and ordered to proceed with remaining half battalion to PATURAGE, to take up line between Dorset Regiment and third division. Half battalion at WASMES to join headquarters of battalion at PATURAGE. Reached PATURAGE after dark, no trace of third division. Enemy reported by inhabitants to be approaching in force along road from MONS towards FRAMERIES. Officers patrol sent out to reconnoitre, confirmed report and found third division left near FRAMERIES nearly 2 miles to our right rear. Reported situation to divisional headquarters some miles in rear by breaking into railway Telegraph and telephone room and using instruments. Gen HAKING with three battalions sent up to fill up the gap on the right before daybreak.
There was a gap between our left and the Dorset Regiment which was eventually lightly held by parties from each regiment. The two companies at WASMES were unable to disengage themselves from enemy until after dark when they moved to join headquarters at PATURAGE arriving before daybreak.
24th August 1914
Enemy attack soon after daylight, see company who were holding houses and bridges along the railway line with the 1st to be in gauged. They were eventually driven back slowly as houses were knocked down by shells! Enemy attacked in strength on our right, which nested on a higher mound of slag occupied by other units.
Found at about 11 am that the battalion on the right under Gen HACKING had withdrawn or retired, leaving our right in the air, with enemy in close proximity. Reported situation to Brigadier 15th brigade. Soon after 12 noon Italian commence retirement in three columns moving westward, covered by small rear guard. Then moved to Southwest to ATHIS a considerable portion of the battalion detached in action had not yet re-joined.
Capt. Milling, Lt. Sherman wounded, about 66 other ranks killed, wounded or missing.
On arriving at ATHIS with rather more than half battalion (men very tired and footsore,) at once called to form as escort to artillery. Pushed? by cavalry towards wood extended men over open cornfields. Guns at once moved: again moved men. Royal artillery officer galloped up and said guns unable to remain as cavalry had passed. Left in there without orders. Retired slowly and formed up undercover. Proceeded towards bye-bye and found rest of battalion holding road. Move south and rejoin reminder of 15th brigade.
25th August 1914 – 2 miles SW of BAVAY
Returned to Le Cateau: troops very tired. On arrival battalion set to work to improve existing trenches. Brigade with main body and out of touch with enemy.
26th August 1914 – Le Cateau
Battle of Le Cateau. Battalion mostly in good trenches. Support and first-line transport and water carts in Hollow Lane, which they are protected from front would be badly inflated if enemies artillery or machine guns advanced a short distance on the night. Supports dug into side bank of road so as to be well traversed. Troops on right eventually driven back leaving right exposed. Italian suffered a little owing to good trenches but at eventually to retire: remained long enough to cover retirement of guns in rear, which suffered considerably. With drawl difficult from trenches as country flat and open fortunately enemies fire rather wild. Our casualties Lieut Wagstaff and about 30 men. All units rather mixed year in retirement, main road very crowded with troops conveyed on it, very slow progress, limits gradually found. Reached ESTRES around midnight, no orders, billeted in empty farm 1 am 27 August 1914.
27th August 1914 – ESTRES
Extras at 4 am and continued March. Reached St Quentin around 11:30 am and passed through to join remainder of Brigade and division. Found them on arrival on the side of St Quentin at 11:55 am, men absolutely tired out and hungry. Received instructions to push on another 13 miles to EAUCOURT at 12:15 pm. Reached EAUCOURT billets at 5 pm, Battalion put on outposts.
28th August 1914
Retired to Pontoise, through Le Noyon.
29th August 1914
Retired to Carlepont
30th August 1914
Retired to Crouloy31st August 1914
Retired to Crepy. Enemy discovered in close proximity, Battalion put on outpost duty.
The above entries from the Battallion diary very much describes the “Retreat from Mons” and the part that a very tired Battalion played in that action.
During the Battle of Le Cateau on the 26th August, Private Ernest Badger is reported as missing.
Later information from the International Red Cross records shows that rather than being missing presumed dead, Ernest is taken as a prisoner of war. There is very little in the file to tell us what happened to Ernest during this time.
A ledger from the German Army dated the 17th April 1915, with a second note as a heading stating “Engander” and “9.4.1915” does however show us that Ernest had died and was buried, there are 20 other men that appear on this ledger page although no details as to their location is provided.
The cause of death is unknown according the Red Cross Report notes and his next of kin is listed as Mrs L Badger, School House, Langtoft, Peterborough, England.
This information was passed to the British Army on the 1st May 1915.
Officially the British Army report that Ernest died when a prisoner of war on the 30th April 1915.
Ernest’s pension records show that initially Lizzie was living in Basford Nottinghamshire and then this is changed to Church Cottages, Catshill, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. She received Ernest’s pension of 5/= weekly from 19th August 1919.
On the 17th May 1919 the Army paid out money to Ernest’s next of kin. This effect register shows that the first payment was made on 26th January 1916 and further payments made on the 5th March 1916 and 12 August 1919.
The first payment is unclear due to poor handwriting, but looks like RP Loachge (in other records we sometimes see RP Lichfield so this could be the case or the name of another Army administrative centre) and the notes say Self and deceased brothers and sisters. This payment was quite considerable £23/13/5.
The following two payments were noted as paid to Mother Lizzie and were for £9/14/11 and the final £6. These values were calculated from credits and charges to the Army and were his final effects.
- WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- British Newspaper Archive.