RFA West Lancs Bdes
681723 BDR. E. J. RAFFE. R.F.A.
Ernest John Raffe was born on 16 March 1894 in Toxteth, Liverpool, and baptised on 10 June. His father was (Henry) John Raffe (b. 1864 in Islington, London), an accountant working for Liverpool City Council. His mother was Frances Elizabeth Adlington (b. 1874 in Liverpool). John and Frances were married in Everton in 1892 and Ernest was their only child. After they married, John and Elizabeth continued to live with her parents and in 1911, they lived at 52 Blantyre Road, Liverpool, and Ernest was employed as a junior clerk in an architect and surveyor’s office.
Typically, men from Liverpool who joined the Royal Field Artillery were posted to the howitzer (“D”) Battery of either 276 or 286 Brigade, but Ernest seems to have followed a different path. It seems likely that he did initially join 286 Brigade but at some stage he was posted to 310 Brigade and later promoted to Bombardier. 310Bde was originally designated 2/1st West Riding Brigade and formed part of the artillery support for 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division. This Division had not been involved in the Third Battle of Ypres but was called into action at Cambrai on 20 November 1917. I don’t know the circumstances but Ernest died of wounds or illness at 13 General Hospital, Boulogne, on 20 November 1917. He was 23 years old.
Service No: 681723
Date of Death: 20/11/1917
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, 310th Bde.
Grave Reference: VIII. I. 118.
Cemetery: BOULOGNE EASTERN CEMETERY
Additional Information: Only son of Henry John and Frances Elizabeth Raffe, of 52 Blantyre Road, Liverpool.