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M.2

Grave photoSamuel Ernest Thorley Samuel Ernest Thorley (known as Ernest) was the son of John and Maria Thorley (nee Wallbank). Born on 3 October 1894, he was one of six children - three boys and three girls - and both his brothers, Jack and George, served in the war. Their father John was the Stoneleigh policeman for many years, the family having moved from Nuneaton via Bishops Tachbrook as John's profession dictated. They lived in the police house in Birmingham Road and later at London Lodge (now known as Tantara). Ernest attended Stoneleigh School from September 1903 and left to become a garden boy. He later became a mechanical engineer in a machine tool factory, but enlisted quickly at the outbreak of war, in Nuneaton. He joined the 9th Bn the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, number 2593, and by May 1915 was on his way to the Dardanelles, according to Cordelia Leigh. After August 10th the 9th Battalion occupied a 150 yard line of trenches at Gallipoli, an area which was open to sniper fire; this may have been how he sustained his fatal wounds. Witnessed by fellow soldiers from Stoneleigh, as he fell he suffered a fracture to the base of his skull and was taken by transport ship to Cairo, where he died of his wounds on August 25th. Ernest's grave was, initially, marked by a simple cross which had been paid for by Cordelia Leigh. She corresponded with the regimental chaplain and arranged for the cross to be made and photographed so that Ernest's mother could see his last resting-place. In addition a memorial certificate was specifically inscribed. His Commonwealth War Grave, in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, is Reference D62.

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