8 October 2018

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: Ernest Culpin

Ernest Henry Culpin, to give him his full name, was born in Littlehampton, Sussex, in 1886, second of the six children of Henry & Charlotte (nee Fielder).  The family moved to Odell in Bedfordshire in the next year or so and Ernest was shown as a five-year old scholar in the 1891 census.

Ten years later he was in Burton Latimer, Northants, boarding out, and working as a railway clerk, and by 1911 he was working on his grandfather's farm in Egleton, Rutland.  Come the war he enlisted at Oakham into the Northamptonshire Regiment and was sometime transferred to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The Grantham Journal  of 26th October 1918 has more detail: 

"Pte E H Culpin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of Oakham
The death as the result of being wounded, which necessitated the amputation of an arm, took place at a Casualty Clearing Station, in France, on the 8th October, of Pte. Ernest Hy. Culpin, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, second son of Mr and Mrs Culpin, of 14, Ashwell-road, Oakham.  The usual official notice, from the Infantry Record Office, at Dublin, was preceded by a War Office telegram, notifying Pte. Culpin had died of wounds after the left arm had been amputated, and the following letter has also been received:- “12th CCS, BEF, France.  11/10/18.  Dear Mrs Culpin, I write to express my sincere sympathy with you on the death of your son.  He was admitted to hospital on the 8th and died the same day, at 2.45pm.  I don’t think he suffered much, as he was unconscious most of the time.  I buried him in the British cemetery here.  May he rest in peace, and may God accept the noble sacrifice he has made in the war.  My heart goes out to you poor mothers.  God help you.  Yours truly, H A Griffiths, Chaplain.”  

Pte. Culpin, who was 32 years of age, was home on leave some six weeks ago, after a long absence, during which period he been seen service in Salonica, Egypt, and Palestine, and was one of the first to enter Jerusalem afters its capture, being in the city when General Allenby rode through it on horseback.  He afterwards came to the Western front.  Deceased had been in the Army three years, being previously herdman for Lord Lilford, at Lilford Hall, Northants.  A brother, Corpl. A Culpin, of the MTS, is at the present time attached to the Servian Army, while a brother-in-law, Pte F E Garner, RAMC, of Oakham, died on service two years ago."

Ernest was buried in the Tincourt New British Cemetery.

We will remember them.