Chailey Parish Magazine notes Erle Bristow serving his King & Country in its March 1915 issue. In October 1915 it reports that he is serving as a private with the 5th Royal Sussex, that information repeated until the final roll call in July 1919.
The 5th Royal Sussex was formed on
1st April 1908 as part of
the newly constituted Territorial Force.
When war was declared in August 1914 the battalion became Army Troops in
the Home Counties Division TF and in early 1915 was posted for duty at the . Erle's army number was
5/3109 and when the Territorial Force was re-numbered in February 1917 he was
given the new number 240818. He almost
certainly enlisted with Frank Ford of Chailey as the two men’s numbers are
almost identical. Frank’s numbers were
5/3110 and later, 240819. Tower of London
The battalion crossed to
on France 18th February 1915 and
three days later was posted to the 2nd Brigade in the 1st Division. On 20th August 1915 it became the pioneer battalion of the
48th ( South Midland) Division.
Erle’s brother Charles was killed in action during the First World War. Chailey resident Reg Philpott recalled that the brothers had arranged to meet up in
but before they were able to
do this, Charles was killed. France