Ernest DEAN
Rank: Private
Number: 266596
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 14/15 April 1917
Age: 29
Cemetery: Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Ernest had been born in Hazel Grove and lived at the family home at 17 Neville Street. The 1901 Census shows him, aged 13, working as a "felt hatter". In March 1915, he went to Stockport and enlisted in the army. He is understood to have been posted to the Cheshires, but not to the 1st Battalion (his service number suggests that it was Stockport's local Territorial battalion - the 1/6th).

At some point he was wounded and spent time recovering in several hospitals before returning to duty and being posted to the 1st Battalion. He had only been back at the front for three weeks when he was killed in fighting described here. Ernest was originally posted as "missing" but once the military authorites were sure he had not been taken prisoner or been wounded, then they would make a presumption that he had been killed. This process could be completed quite quickly or could take several months. In any event, his body was never found and identified and he is commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Arras.

Further information about Ernest, including a photograph, can be found in the book "Hazel grove to Armageddon" by John Eaton.

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