Born the son of a farm labourer in Wiltshire, young Ernest Burchell grew up as the reign of Queen Victoria was coming to an end at the turn of the 20th Century.
This young ambitious man left his family and started a business in a little village in South Derbyshire. It’s here that he met and fell in love with a beautiful farmer’s daughter, but their future plans were scuppered by events in the small independent Balkan state of Bosnia.
At the outbreak of the First World War Ernest returned to Wiltshire where he volunteered to join a cavalry regiment – the Wiltshire Yeomanry.
The regiment embarked from Southampton to Le Havre in 1916.