John Hampden Grammar School

Ernest Picton


Ernest was born on March 24th 1895 in High Wycombe to Alfred and Clara. His father was a Windsor chair maker.


He had one older brother, George and three sisters, Alice, Daisy and Ivy, and they lived in 3 Upper Green Street. He was at the Science and Art Schools in 1912-1914 winning prizes for cabinet making. He enlisted in High Wycombe into the Hampshire Regiment (1st Battalion) on March 29th 1915 and was sent to France on 20th July 1915. He was killed aged 21 on July 1st 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and is buried in the Redan Ridge Cemetery No 2 in Beaumont-Hamel.
The 4th Division attacked between the Serre and Beaumont Hamel and managed to capture the German strongpoint known as Quadrilateral Redoubt. However as this proved to be the only gain on this sector it was subjected to intense German counter-attacks and the position was abandoned on the morning of 2 July by which time the division had suffered 4,700 casualties. The page covering July 1st from the 1st Hampshire's war diary is re-produced below and his listing with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission can be found here.
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