Ernest Edward CROPLEY
Rank: Driver
Number: 3827
Unit: B Battery, 121st Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 20 March 1917
Age: 22
Cemetery: Ferme-Olivier Cemetery, Elverdinge, Belgium

In the late spring of 1892, George Cropley, a labourer on the railway, married Georgina King at St Mary’s Heaton Reddish Church. Ernest was born in about 1895 and was followed by Henry Thomas in around 1897 and Blanche in 1903. When the census was taken in 1901, the family was living at 15 Ale Lamb Road, in the Lancashire Hill area of town and, by the time of the Great War, had moved to 6 Earl Street in Edgeley. Ernest worked locally as a cleaner at the Edgeley locomotive sheds which belonged to the London and North Western Railway Company.

After the Battle of the Somme in the summer and autumn of 1916, 121st Brigade moved to the Ypres Salient and, on 20 March 1917, was at its firing positions behind the front line at Elverdinghe, to the north of Ypres. The Brigade War Diary notes that “B” Battery was heavily shelled and Ernest and another soldier were killed. He and Charles Wheeler from Glamorgan are buried in adjacent graves.

Tom Cropley is understood to have also served in the War.

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