Ernest William Laitt
Private 117518 - Sherwood Foresters
Notts Derby Regiment 10th Battalion
Enlisted: Nottingham 2nd March 1916
Killed in Action Flanders 22nd Sept 1918 : Aged 20
Vis-En-Artois Memorial Panel 7
Private 117518 Ernest William Laitt was born 12th Aug 1898 and then baptised 28th April in neighbouring Blackwell, Derbyshire. Parents marriage on April 19th 1897 between 21 year old coal miner Mr Ernest Albert Laitt from Oxford, and Miss Emma Boyd 20 in her home parish at North Wingfield, almost completes a family filling fathers residence nearest coal pit employment.
Ernest William Laitt was eldest son listed by 1901 census homed at 180 Primrose Hill. Huthwaite birth of youngest daughter had soon followed relocation into Harper Lane to list fullest surviving 1911 Laitt household headed by Ernest Albert 36. Wife Mrs Emma Laitt 34 then mothers Emma 13, Ernest William 12, Joseph 11, Herbert George 8, Isaac 7, with Mary Hellen 2 months.
Mr Ernest William Laitt eagerly enlisted at Nottingham for army service on 2nd March 1916. Dates can calculate true age 17 years 8 months, although giving exaggerated 19 years 8 months was readily accepted for joining the Notts & Derby Regiment. Being held in reserve until called up for active service 13th May 1918 closer matched real age.
Pte 117518 Ernest William Laitt measured 5 feet 3¼ inches height, 34 inch expanded chest, weighing 110 lbs. Addressing named parents as next of kin numbering home 95 Station Road, Huthwaite, Mansfield, predates further renamed Chesterfield Road. Sherwood Foresters posted to France from 6th September 1918 joined allied armies in a final push known as the "Advance to Victory". Little more than two weeks after landing abroad, Pte Ernest William Laitt of the 10th Battalion was killed in action during those final months of battle on 22nd September 1918, aged 20.
E. W. Laitt is listed on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial commemorating all those allied soldiers killed without graves. His medals and local remembrance with Roll of Honour on a Huthwaite Cemetery Cenotaph recognises membership of the Huthwaite Parish Church Young Men's Bible Classes, by adding name to a devotional stained glass window.