Ernest’s parents were Isaac Smith (1863-1914) from Hoylake and Ann Jane Brown (1877- ) from Heywood in Lancashire, who married in Birkenhead in 1902. Isaac was a miller’s labourer and later a gardener and Ann a laundress. Ernest was one of nine children, three of whom died in infancy. In 1911 the family was living in a five-roomed house on Market Street in Hoylake. Ernest was working as a butcher and his younger brother, Robert, as a “caddie boy”, presumably at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Ernest’s step-sister, Mary Elizabeth Brown, and his sister Dora were both domestic servants.
The local newspapers said that Ernest was “well liked by all who knew him” and that he joined the Royal Engineers in January 1915; he was posted to the Dardanelles around about 16th July of that year; his medal card, however, says that he went to the front on 9th August. He was “stricken down” with dysentery sometime in October and died in a hospital in Alexandria. By that time, his mother was a widow, living at 2 School Lane in Hoylake and dependent upon Ernest’s and Robert’s wages. Let us hope that she managed to make ends meet during the remainder of her life.
Birth: 1894 in Hoylake
Death: 21st October 1915, died of dysentery aged 21
Address: 121 Market Street, Hoylake (11)
Unit: 2/1 Cheshire Field Company Royal Engineers
Number and Rank: 812 Driver
Medals: Victory, British War and 1915 Star
Commemorated and Buried: GH, H, Egypt: Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery D. 43.
Sources: BR, SDGW, CWGC, MC, BN, DA, Census: 11