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Ernest was born in Wolverhampton on 28 August 1900, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Thomason. In 1901, he was living at 88 Lower Street, Tettenhall, together with his parents, siblings George, Alfred, Frank and Amy, and step-brother Henry Rowley. BY 1911 they were at 47 Lower Street.

On 11 September 1918, at the age of 18 years and 14 days, Ernest enlisted in the 53rd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment (number 62467). His address by this time was given as 50 Aldersley Road, Tettenhall, and his trade was “Bread Deliverer”. He was discharged on 18 March 1920.

He married Elsie Elkin in Wolverhampton in 1923, and the couple went on to have four children – Ernest, Elsie, John and Patricia – between 1924 and 1943. Ernest died in Wolverhampton in 1972.