William Pilsbury married Fanny Tomkinson between July and September 1882. Three years later, they had a son, Jesse, and, two years after that, James was born.
The 1901 Census records the family living in Hazel Grove. William was then aged 46 and working as a coal hewer. Fanny was 43. Apart from Jesse and James, the other children were Frank, 11; Jane , 9 and Joseph, 7. James was already working as a felt hat finisher, aged 14.
He enlisted into the army at Stockport and his service number confirms this was in November 1914. This was when the 15th Battalion was formed. It can be assumed that Ernest was not a tall man, as the 15th was created as a "Bantam" Battalion - originally for men who had earlier failed the normal army recruitment height of 5ft 4ins.
After the war, he returned to Hazel Grove but was suffering from tuberculosis. His inclusion on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Book of Honour confirms that the authorities accepted that he had contracted the illness as a result of his military service.
Further information about him can be found in the book "Hazel Grove to Armageddon" by John Eaton.