Sunday, October 18, 2015

111031 Private William Ernest Jenner, Royal Army Medical Corps

The W E Jenner first mentioned by Chailey’s parish magazine in January 1918 is William Ernest Jenner of Chailey.  He was born there in January 1884, his birth registered at Lewes in the March quarter of that year.  He appears on the 1891 census of England and Wales as a seven year old scholar living with his family at South Street, Chailey.  The household comprised: Martin Jenner (head, married, aged 36 and working as a postman), his wife Charlotte (aged 40) and their three children: William Ernest, Nellie Marion Jenner (aged four) and Charles Jenner (aged one). 

Ten years later (with the exception of Nellie who was working as a nursemaid at 44 Walsingham Road, Aldrington), the family was still at South Street.  Martin Jenner was still working as a postman and William is noted as a grocer’s assistant. 

On 3rd August 1911 he married Winnifred Ellen (maiden name unknown) and their first child, Olive Nellie, was born on 5th July 1915.  On 24th June 1916 he was “deemed to have been enlisted” and placed on the Army Reserve.  A medical examination at Canterbury six days later reported that he had a poor physique, defective teeth, under-standard chest development and a varicose vein in his right foot.  He was five feet, five inches tall, weighed 96 lbs and was considered fit only for Garrison Service at home. 

On 30th January 1917 a second daughter – Margaret Daisy -  was born and in April he was called up for service.  On the 9th of that month he reported at Dover stating his address as 9 Gower Road, Haywards Heath and his trade as Grocer’s Manager.  He was given the army service number 111031 and posted to Y Company of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was given a series of vaccinations the same month but at the end of May was admitted to a military hospital in Clipstone Camp with tonsillitis.  He was discharged from hospital on 31st May and on 29th September was posted to the RAMC in Blackpool.   

On 30th November he left Southampton for France en rouĂ© to No 77 reinforcements.  He would remain abroad for the next 25 months.  On arrival at Havre on 1st December he immediately embarked again, this time for Rouen, arriving there the following day and joining “Cyclists Base D”.  On 7th December 1917 he was posted to No 39 Stationary Hospital. 

William was granted leave between 6th and 20th December 1918 and again between 1st and 15th June 1919.  He was appointed paid acting corporal on 3rd June 1919 but on 25th October that year, on being posted to No 10 Stationary Hospital, St Orr Remy, reverted to his former rank of private. 

On 6th December he was posted to No 7 Casualty Clearing Station at Vusians and fourteen days later, posted again, this time to No 41 Sanitary Section, RAMC. 

He was medically examined on 7th January 1920 at Vuisans and stated that he was not claiming a disability pension.  He then proceeded to England where he was demobbed at Purfleet on 7th February 1920 and transferred to Class Z Reserve.  His character was described as “very good”.  The address he gave on discharge was 8 Gowers Road, Haywards Heath.  This could either be a clerical error or signify a move form one address to the other.

William’s brother Charles Jenner also served his King and Country during the First World War.

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