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Person Details
Nottingham
He was the son of Alfred and Janet Holland and the brother of Ethel and Ewen Holland of 'Dunoon Villas', 31 Flethcher Road, Beeston, Nottingham. He was married to Margaret Tighe on 18th September 1915 at St Lukes Cathedral Brisbane, Australia (see extra information below) , they lived at Healy Street, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.
Ernest Holland was educated at the Nether Street School Beeston and, at the age of thirteen, he left the to work for the Topham Brothers. Ernest Holland served with the South Nottinghamshire Hussars before, aged 18, emigrating to Australia to find work as a farm labourer and later as a trainee dairy farmer.
14 Mar 1917
22
564672 - CWGC Website
352
Company Sergeant Major
31st Bn Australian Infantry (AIF)
He joined the Australian Infantry Force on 15/7/1915, and was posted to the 31st Battalion. This Battalion was raised as part of the 8th Brigade at Enogerra, on the outskirts of Brisbane, in August 1915. Some of the battalion's companies, however, were raised at Broadmeadows Camp in Victoria. In early October these two elements were united at Broadmeadows, and the battalion sailed from Melbourne the following month, Ernest Holland was in the contingent which sailed aboard HMAT Kyarra (see photo). Initially, the 31st Battalion was sent to Egypt where it was involved in the defence of the Suez Canal against the Turks. The 8th Brigade joined the newly raised 5th Australian Division in Egypt, and proceeded to France in June 1916. Holland was promoted to sergeant major. The 31st Battalion fought its first major battle at Fromelles on 19th July 1916, having entered the front line trenches only 3 days previously. The attack was a disastrous introduction to battle for the 31st Battalion; 572 Officers and men became casualties, over half of its strength. It was during this battle that Company Sergeant Major Holland was himself one of the wounded. Although the battalion spent periods in the front line, it played no major offence role for the rest of the year. It was during this period that Ernest Holland was wounded again. As a result, he spent some time in England on sick leave, where he had a chance to visit friends and family. At Christmas 1916, he was to visit his parents for the last time, returning to rejoin his unit in early 1917, as it prepared for the next big attack. On March the 13th the British and the Australians advanced towards the town of Bapaume, where the Germans had strengthened their line, bringing in a crack regiment of Prussian Guards. From the west and south-west approaches to the town, Australian and British patrols came forward with ladders, bombs and machine guns. They scrambled over the unbroken enemy wire and, in a short action, scattered the Prussian Guards. As one enemy company fled, it was caught in continuous machine gun fire and annihilated. After bitter fighting the Australian infantry finally captured Bapaume. This was to be Company Sergeant Major Holland’s last action as he died on the 14th and was buried in Beaulencourt British Cemetery. An obituary placed in the Nottingham Post reports that he was shot by a sniper.
Wedding announcement published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 6th November 1915 :- “HOLLAND – TIGHE. – On the 18th September, 1915, at St. Luke's Cathedral, Brisbane, Australia, Sergeant Ernest Holland, 31st Batt., 8th Brigade, Australian Forces, eldest son of Alfred and Janet Holland, of 31, Fletcher-road, Beeston, and grandson of Alexander McLeod, late of Nottingham and Beeston to Margaret Tighe, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Tighe, of Grandchester, Queensland.” Nottingham Post obituary (abridged), 2 April 1917: 'Holland. Our brother Company Sergeant Major Ernest Holland, Australian Imperial Forces. Shot by sniper, March 14th 1917.'
Remembered on

Photos

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  • HMAT Kyarra
    - HMAT Kyarra
  • Holland's headstone in Beaulencourt British Cemetery
    - Holland's headstone in Beaulencourt British Cemetery