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  • Christina Drummond

Lance Corporal Ernest Seaman VC MM, 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, Lance Corporal Ernest Seaman VC MM, of the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed at Terhand in Belgium. Before the war he worked as a page boy in the Grand Hotel in Felixstowe. Classified as unfit for active front line service he became a baker in the Army Service Corps - it was not until late in the war that he was allowed to join a front-line unit. From the Captain in command of A Company: “He was one of the best soldiers whom I had ever met, an excellent soldier in every sense of the word, and very keen in his duties. He always volunteered to help in any extra work that had to be done, no matter how dangerous and difficult, and for his constant devotion to duty and gallantry in voluntarily attending his wounded comrades under heavy fire, I recommend his being awarded the Military Medal.” On the day of his death with the right flank of his company held up by enemy machine-guns, he went forward under heavy fire and engaged the position single-handed, capturing two machine-guns and twelve prisoners. Later that day he rushed another enemy machine-gun post, capturing the gun under very heavy fire. He was killed immediately afterwards, but due to what was described as his gallant conduct his company was able to push forward to its objective. For this action he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. He is commemorated at Tyne Cot Cemetery, the memorial to the 36th Division at the Ulster Tower near Thiepval on the Somme, the Felixstowe War Memorial, and the Scole War Memorial in Norfolk. Ernest, from Heigham in Norfolk, was 25 years old.

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