Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 43667
Unit: 2nd Battalion WELSH REGIMENT
Date of Death: 9 November 1917
Age: 23 (based on 1901 Census)
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Ernest and his family spent many years living in Chasetown and Burntwood - near the Staffordshire town of Lichfield but they had moved to Stockport some years before the War, where they lived at 26 Union Street. Very little else is known about Ernest's life before the War. He had been a member of the Territorial Force - serving with the Cheshire Regiment but must have left the Battalion as he was not mobilised when War was declared in August 1914. Reporting his death, the local newspaper said that he was married and lived at 19 Chatham Street, Edgeley. His wife's name is unknown. They had one child.

Ernest travelled to Chester to enlist. No doubt, he wanted to try to ensure he rejoined the Cheshires but he found himself allocated to the Welsh Regiment. His service number confirms this was not early in the War.

British troops had fought their way up the Passchendaele Ridge, outside of Ypres, since 31 July 1917, capturing the actual village on 6 November.

The 2nd Welsh moved back into the new front line relieving the attacking troops and would hold the position for a few days. The Battalion's War Diary entry for the 9th reads "Much the same sort of day as usual. The Bosche shelling is a little heavier than yesterday. Casualties - 10 killed".

On what the diary officer thought as a fairly normal day, the German shelling had claimed the lives of two local men - Ernest and Arthur Bentley. His platoon commander later wrote to his widow "Your husband was killed at 8 o'clock in the morning. It may be some small comfort to you to know that his death was instantaneous and painless as he was killed outright by a shell. He was a very gallant soldier who always did his best and his loss is felt by all in the Company. Please accept my deep sympathy and may the consolation that he died a true soldier's death comfort you and your child in your great loss."  Arthur Bentley is buried nearby but Ernest has no known grave. There was probably nothing left of him to bury.

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