Ernest was the fifth of the seven children of local greengrocer Robert Grime and his wife Elizabeth. As a boy, he attended St John's Church Day School in Heaton Mersey and, also, the Sunday School of the local Congregational Church. When he left school, he went to work for his father in the shop, then at 185 Didsbury Road, which was also the family home. In 1901, when the Census was taken, six of the children were still living at home. The eldest child is thought to have been George Grime who was then 23 and living next door at No. 183 with his wife, Elizabeth.
Ernest was still working in the family business, now at 571 Didsbury Road, when, on 14 December 1916, he enlisted into the army and was assigned to the Welsh Regiment. He went overseas on 10 December 1917. He was to spend only one complete day in the trenches before he was killed.
He joined the Battalion, then in reserve at Iniskilling Camp, a few days after arriving in France. The Battalion's War Diary notes that, on Christmas Day, church services were held in the morning. The following evening, the troops moved out of camp and into the front line near the village of Croisillers, relieving the 18th Battalion. They were in position by 8.30pm.
The Diary has scant details of the next day and has no mention of casualties. It does report that a patrol went out in the evening into No Man's Land to investigate the position of a new enemy pill box. It is unlikely that Ernest, as an inexperienced soldier, would have been included in such a dangerous mission and, therefore, it is likely that he was killed by random enemy shellfire.