Second Lieutenant, Indian Army
Born: April 27th 1880
Died: April 27th 1915
Age at Death: 35
Died from wounds received in action, France, April 27th, 1915.
9th Bhopal Infantry.
Son of E. Etlinger of St John's Wood, London. Brother to George Ernest Etlinger (Mr Wickham's House 1887-1890).
A donation has been made to the memorial statue in honour of this solder by the Partridge family.
Henry Etlinger was born in 1880, probably in India, then part of the British Empire. His father was George. E. Etlinger, later of St John’s Wood, London but his mother’s identity, in the absence of a birth certificate obtainable in England remains unknown. He was a pupil at Brighton College (Junior House) between 1890 and 1893, the identity of his senior school is unknown. The circumstances of his life between then and the start of World War One but his rank in 1914 certainly suggests that he was a professional soldier and it is certainly possible that having left senior school, which he must have done in around 1898 he enlisted shortly afterwards and spent the rest of his adult life in the army.
Henry Etlinger was a Captain in the British Indian Army, specifically the 19th Bhopal Infantry, Meerut Division. The Meerut Division, along with one other infantry division and a division of Indian cavalry formed the Indian Corps which landed in Southern France in Autumn 1914 to form part of the BEF. The participation of these Indian soldiers on the Western Front was not considered a success and morale was low, indeed after fighting for about 6 months the Indian Corps was withdrawn and India’s participation in the rest of the war restricted to the Middle-Eastern and colonial theatres. Nonetheless in Winter 1914 and Spring 1915 the Corps participated in some of the fiercest battles on the Western Front with the result that Henry Etlinger was wounded in the course of the Second Battle of Ypres in late April 1915. This was, of course, the battle in which gas was used for the first time by the Germans on the Western Front and a number of Indian units were badly affected. It is unclear whether Etlinger’s wounds were arose from gas of whether they were more conventional wounds but irrespective of the cause they were clearly severe as sadly he was to die from wounds on 27th April 1915.
Etlinger’s name is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres but he does not have an individual burial plot.
Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15