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Ernest was born in Wolverhampton on 3 May 1874, and attended Wolverhampton Grammar School 1882 – 1886. He trained as a civil engineer and worked on the new Sewage Dispoal Works for Wolverhampton in the 1890s. He subsequently worked on similar sewage and water supply works in other locations, including Rotherham, Ledbury, Bewdley, and Cheslyn Hay.

Ernest married Sarah Meredith Spencer in Wolverhampton in 1901, and they lived at Coalway House, Upper Penn. By 1901, Ernest was a civil engineer. The couple had a daughter, Vera May, in 1902. By 1911, they were living at Rosehaugh, Penn, Wolverhampton. In addition to his civic works, Ernest also served as an Inspector as part of the Special Constables during the First World War.

Ernest died on 15 October 1928 at the Bungalow, Copthorne Road, Wolverhampton, by which date he was living at Churchover Rectory, Rugby, Warwickshire. The value of his effects was £34180 6s. 9d.