Private William Ernest Hoe Corah, 1471

  • Batt -
  • Unit - Leicestershire Yeomanry
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth - 1890
  • Died - 13/05/1915
  • Age - 25

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of William Corah, a house furnisher, born 1865 in Kegworth, Leics., and his wife Catherine Corah (nee Hoe, married in the 3rd quarter of 1889 in the Loughborough, Leics. district)), born 1859 in Nether Broughton, Leics. William Ernest Hoe, was born in the 3rd quarter of 1890 in Kegworth, Leics., he had one sibling, a sister Elsie, born 1893 in Kegworth, Leics., in March 1901 the family home was at 26, Derby Square, Loughborough, Leics. In April 1911 William was employed assisting in the family business and was residing at Swingbridge House, Swingbridge Road, Loughborough, Leics., together with his father, now an auctioneer and house furnisher, his mother and sister Elsie, an assistant clerk in the family business. William was officially recorded at birth with just the first name of William, this was later added to and he was referred to as William Ernest Hoe, whether this was officially through a deed poll is not recorded.
On Friday June 25th 1915 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “THE ROLL OF HONOUR.” The following casualties in the 4th and 5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment are reported from General Headquarters and the Base:- OFFICER WOUNDED. 4th Battalion. Dyer-Bennet, Capt. and Adjutant R.S. KILLED. 4th Battalion. Baker, 2533, Lance-Corpl. T. G. 5th Battalion. Beadman, 2566, Private C.T. Clarke, 1956. Private D. Keeling, 3038, Private T.G. WOUNDED. 4th Battalion. Jones, 2593, Lance-Corporal G.J. Shipman, 1280, Lance-Corporal W. Walker, 2346, Private H. 5th Battalion. Dakin, 2173, Private E. Lord, 1474, Private S.D. Minckley, 1776, Lance-Corporal G. YEOMANRY AND TERRITORIAL CASUALTIES. The week-end official lists of casualties contain the following:- LEICESTERSHIRE YEOMANRY. PREVIOUSLY REPORTED MISSING, NOW REPORTED KILLED. Corah, 1471, Private E. Lucas, 1848, Private J.J. Steer, 2144, Private W.J.
The War Diary for the 13th May 1915 records. BELLEWARDE FARM. Position of Regiment at midnight 12th/13th May was 700 yards west of road joining ZONNEBEKE ROAD and YPRES – MENIN ROAD, extreme right resting on railway running north east from YPRES, and extending to the farm about 300 yards north, north west of railway. “B” Squadron occupied north, “C” Squadron south part of the front line trenches. The trenches were bad, 5 feet deep and 2½ feet wide at the bottom. Parapets at the front and back slanted very much, and were made of loose soil. There were few sand bags, and no dug outs or other protection from shell fire. “A” Squadron occupied the Support trenches 300 yards in the rear of the advanced trenches and on the left flank of “B” Squadron. Machine gun section in “C” Squadron trench close to the railway. HQ in dug outs on road joining ZONNEBEKE ROAD and MENIN ROAD, 150 yards north of the railway. During the night the trenches were somewhat improved. Heavy shell fire from 3.30am to 6.00am, but few casualties. The enemy then began to pour over their parapets with the evident intention of attacking, but being met by heavy fire from our men, they retired again to their trenches. A second and more violent bombardment began, and was kept up until 7.30am. Our losses during this bombardment were much heavier, and the machine guns were knocked out and a trench blown in. At 7.30am the enemy attacked and occupied the advanced trenches vacated by the Regiment on our left, from there they gained part of “B” Squadron trenches. They then advanced to within 200 yards of the Support trenches and dug themselves in, having steel shields as a protection. Those of the enemy who had occupied the “B” Squadron trench advanced along the trench, and Major B. R. LIEBERT, Lt. W. S. FIELDING-JOHNSON and Squadron Sergeant Major J. P. SWAIN with what was left of “B” Squadron, retired down the trench and joined “C” Squadron. Here Major W. F. MARTIN ordered barricades of sand bags to be placed across the trench. Some of the trench party fired over this barricade at the enemy advancing from the flank, others at the enemy advancing from the front. Major MARTIN, Major LIEBERT, Lt. C. PEAKE and 2nd Lt. T. E. BROOKS were all killed. The casualties were so heavy that Lt. FIELDING-JOHNSON, the only surviving officer decided to retire down the trench, to cross the railway and join the 3rd DRAGOON GUARDS on the other side of it. He had great difficulty in crossing the railway, which was swept by the enemy’s machine guns. Finally the crossing was effected by building a sand bag parapet across the railway, and Lt. FIELDING-JOHNSON joined the 3rd DRAGOON GUARDS with Squadron Sergeant Major SWAIN and 14 men, the only survivors of the two Squadrons of LEICESTERSHIRE YEOMANRY who had occupied the advanced trenches. At about 6.00am Lt. Col the Hon. P. C. EVANS-FREKE decided to establish a small advanced post at a building about 150 yards in advance of the Support trenches. He personally placed 2nd Lt. T. H. SIMPKIN with 15 men in charge of this post. While returning to the Support trenches he was shot dead. The supports held their position until 12.00 noon, when the Brigade Major, Captain D. P. TOLLEMACHE arrived. The enemy by this time were very near at hand carrying shields which appeared to be quite bullet proof, and were digging themselves in. Major W. F. RICARDO displayed great gallantry in holding on to the Support trenches, although wounded four separate time. When the counter attack was made by the ROYAL HORSE GUARDS, the 10th HUSSARS and the ESSEX YEOMANRY, the remains of “A” Squadron, led by Captain TOLLEMACHE and Lt. T. W. BEST, joined in the charge. The counter attack drove the enemy out of the new trenches which they had made near our Support trenches, but did not retake our advanced trenches, consequently the dead and wounded from these were never recovered. The Regiment was relieved during the night of the 13th/14th May by the ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS, and reached their huts at BRIELEN at about 4.00am on the 14th May. The casualties of the action on the 13th May were as follows:- Killed, Lt. Col. The Hon. P. C. EVANS-FREKE, Major W. F. MARTIN. Major B. R. LIEBERT, Lt. C. PEAKE and 2nd Lt. T. E. BROOKS. Other ranks killed, 47. Wounded Major W. F. RICARDO, Captain C. M. MARTIN, Captain E. R. HANBURY, Captain G. R. CODRINGTON and Lt. T. W. BEST. Other ranks wounded, 90. There were 39 other ranks missing.

Source: Leicestershire War Memorials Project.
Coalville Times article - Friday July 23rd 1915

Fighting for our Existence

Corporal E. Corah, aged 24, of the Leicestershire Yeomanry (well-known in Whitwick and district as a traveller), who was killed in action on May 13th, in one of his last letters to his parents at Swing Bridge House, Loughborough, said:

“Remember me to all the friends, but I should rather have thought the young fellows would join some regiment before now. I’m sure I couldn’t stay at home at a time like this because we are certainly fighting for our existence as a nation and that means our friends and homes as well. If the people of England could see the ruined homes and even whole villages laid bare to the ground as I have seen them, they would realise that this is no play but a terrible calamity, and should be the best of its kind while the world is in existence. We have even passed churchyards which have been shelled, with the tombstones all broken and the bodies torn from their resting place. Anyhow, after a storm comes a calm, so we must all hope for peace before long. I am in the best of health and hope you are the same.”

Research undertaken and submitted (including photograph from the Coalville Times) by Andy Murby 5/9/2017

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Other Memorials - Loughborough Carillon, War Memorial Bell Tower, Woodgate Baptist Church
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Leicestershire Yeomanry
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Ypres (Menin Gate) Mem., Belgium
  • Born - Kegworth, Leicestershire
  • Enlisted - Oakham, Rutland
  • Place of Residence - Swing Bridge House, Swingbridge Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England

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