Ernest John Saunders was one of 13 men from Rutland to die on the first day of the German Spring Offensive in March 1918, the bloodiest single day for the county. He was just 19 years old. Ernest was the son of Herbert and Mary Ann Saunders of Cemetery Road, Stamford and was employed as a footman at Empingham before the war. He enlisted in the 2/5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry on 5 April 1916 and went out to France on 25 January 1918. He was posted as missing presumed dead on 21 March 1918. George Phillips wrote: "His parents received a letter of sympathy from His Majesty the King in gratitude for his sacrifice to the Cause of Freedom and Justice." He has no known grave and is remembered on the Arras Memorial, Bay 8. He is also remembered on Empingham's war memorial.
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