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Ernest Augustus Hollinrake was born on 1st March 1896, to his father Robert, a clerk in a bobbin works 1901 and his Canadian mother Margret.

Ernest initially enlisted in the East Surrey Regiment (service number 1345) and had progressed to the rank of Corporal before going for his commission. He arrived in France with the East Surreys on 30th September 1915.

Ernest commissioned into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 11th July 1917, being posted as a Second Lieutenant into the 1/5th Battalion.

On 26th November that year he was gazetted as having been awarded the Military Cross.

Military Cross

London Gazette – 16th September 1918.

2nd Lt. Ernest Augustus Hollinrake, M.C. N. Lanc. R.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When two of his front line posts were attacked by a strong hostile raiding party, and one section, greatly outnumbered, was overrun, he dashed up, leapt on the parapet, shot the enemy leader with his revolver, and led his men in a charge on the remainder, putting them to flight. By his great courage and promptness he undoubtedly saved his section, .and prevented the enemy securing a much-needed identity, and gained what proved a valuable one himself. (M.C. gazetted 26th November, 1917.)

In December 1917 he was recommended to be awarded a bar to Military Cross, denoting a second award. The form, Army Form W3121, is  held in the Jeudwine Papers of the Liverpool City Archives in relation to 2 Lt Earnest (sic) Augustus Hollinrake dated 5th December 1917 by Captain R.W.B Sparkes of the 1/5th Battalion L.N.L. Regiment amongst other similar forms which did not receive any accolades in relation to them and contains the following details:

During our counter attack East of Epehy on KILDARE POST on 1/12/17 the party was held up by cross machine gun fire, and compelled to seek cover against the bank of a sunken road. The above officer immediately called for volunteers to collect wounded lying in the open and with four men went out under heavy machine gun fire and succeeded in bringing in many men. Owing to his gallantry and courage he undoubtedly saved lives.

Previously awarded MC (For Immediate Reward)

This recommendation was forwarded to Divisional Command on 13/12/1917 but not progressed further. It wasn’t long, however, before he was awarded the bar and is a testament to his obvious bravery.

Bar to Military Cross
London Gazette – 6th April 1918

2nd Lt. Ernest Augustus Hollinrake, N. Lan. R., Spec. Res.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He handled his platoon with great skill in an attack, and led them forward under covering fire from Lewis guns and rifle grenades, and assaulted a strong point which he captured with thirty prisoners. His courage and determination were a splendid example to his platoon.

In August 1919 the President of France conferred on him the further distinction of the French Croix de Guerre avec palme.

Lieutenant Hollinrake M.C. went on to serve in Iraq, earning the General Service Medal with ‘Iraq’ clasp.

Ernest Augustus Hollinrake passed away in the Spen Valley, Yorkshire in 1956.

Paul McCormick
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