Ernest was born on 15th November 1879 in Winterbourne, Wiltshire to parents Henry John and Harriett Constance and was baptised two months later on 5th Jan 1880.
On the 1881 census Ernest was recorded, aged 1, living with his father, 3 older siblings and twin brother William, at Hill House Terrace, Winterbourne. 10 years later the whole family were recorded in Southampton, living at 5 Carlton Crescent, Ernest then aged 11 and attending school.
His first Naval records found record him on 26th June 1900 stationed on HMS DUKE OF WELLINGTON as Assistant Engineer and during the 1901 census he was aboard HMS Camperdown, a 1st Class Battleship, stationed at home in Portsmouth Harbour. He transferred to HMS CRESSY on 28th May 1901, being promoted to Engineer Lieutenant. He left on 6th January 1905 to serve in Home waters, lent to HMS VERNON and EXCELLENT.
His other postings follow:-
VICTORIOUS - 24/08/1905
VICTORY - 01/01/1907
BULWARK - 20/03/1907
BLAKE (for Colne) - 15/10/1909
ST GEORGE - 23/03/1911
DONEGAL - 23/05/1911 (advancing to Senior List 01/01/1913)
VANGUARD - 19/03/1914
Always described as "temperate, v zealous and capable" He was a very good draughtsman, an efficient officer, hardworking and thoroughly trustworthy. He was noted to have "very much increased the efficiency of the Engine Room aboard the COLNE (May 1911).
In his will, probate was left to the Public Trustee where he left £3019 - an equivalent in today's money of over £207,000.
His portrait was taken from an image (W Sadler private collection) holding the Winners Cup of the Grand Fleet Trophy - HMS Vanguard’s Stokers Racing Cutters Crew.
There are a total of three images of Ernest in the project.
#167 - 695/843
1881, 1891, 1901 & 1911 England Census - Ancestry.com
Navy Lists, 1888-1970 - Ancestry.com
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre; Chippenham, Wiltshire, England; Reference Number: 1968/3
Royal Naval Officers' Service Records Index, 1756-1931 - National Archives