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Ernest was born on 29 April 1894 in Wolverhampton, the son of William and Edith. In 1901 they were living at 8 Graiseley Street, together with Ernest’s siblings William A., Lillian M., Frederick, Walter S. and Edith. They were at 15 Peel Street, Wolverhampton, by 1911, with an additional three children – Charlie, Florence and May. Ernest was now working as a bobber in the cycle trade.

In July 1912, Ernest enlisted in the Royal Navy (number SS112530). He served first on the HMS Victory II and a number of other ships, before serving on the HMS Invincible as an Stoker 1st Class from 3 August 1914 onwards. He married Jemima Williams in Wolverhampton in 1915. Unfortunately, the HMS Invincible was sunk on 31 May 1916 during the Battle of Jutland, and Ernest was killed in action. He is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.