Sergeant Ernest Harold Long DCM MM was killed in action on 31st May 1918 whilst serving with the 10th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The battalion war diary for the day notes “Heavily shelled. Battalion compelled to withdraw about 11am under heavy barrage”.
Ernest Harold Long was born in Berkswell on 29th May 1888 and was the fifth of the eight children born to parents, Frederick (a gamekeeper for the Wheatley family at Berkswell Hall) and Sarah (née Coggins) who had married at Bicester in 1881.
The couple set up home in Westwood, Warwickshire, where their eldest child Clement Arthur Coggins Long (1883-1934) was baptised on 11th March 1883. The family had moved to Berkswell by the time the next child, Bertram Fred (1885-1956) was born.
By 1911, Ernest had become a Railway Constable and was living in London. It seems that he returned to Warwickshire sometime between 1911-1914 as an obituary for him in the Coventry Herald, 20th July 1918 indicates that prior to joining the Army in September 1914, he was employed at Coventry Goods Station.
He was posted to France in October 1915, and was awarded the Military Medal in the London Gazette 18th July 1917, whilst a Private. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in the London Gazette 26th January 1918 for service on 27th August. His citation stated “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a raid on the enemy’s trenches. He personally captured two prisoners after a hand-to-hand struggle and showed great courage and determination.”
Sergeant Ernest Harold Long has no known grave and is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial in France. He is also commemorated on Berkswell war memorial and his name is included in the Coventry Roll of Honour.
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Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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