Ernest Wilfred FAWKES
Rank: Private
Number: PS/8572
Unit: 10th Battalion ROYAL FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 31 May 1918
Age: 22
Cemetery: Cheadle & Gatley Cemetery

Edward and Ernest Fawkes were the two youngest children of Albert and Emma Fawkes. The 1901 Census found the family living at 85 Hardcastle Street, Edgeley. There were three older children - Albert, Margaret and Elsie.

Nothing has been discovered about Ernest's early life but, at the time of the War, he was working for Lake, New & Hadfield, a firm of solicitors with offices at Union Bank Chambers, Stockport. Edward joined the army in September 1914, enlisting into one of the Pals battalions of the Manchester Regiment. Ernest's service number suggests he didn't enlist until somewhat later and was assigned to one of the so-called "public school" battalions of the Fusiliers, where he became one of the Battalion signallers.

The worst possible news would come twice to 11 Wellington Grove, where the family was living. On July 1916, Edward was killed on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. Nearly two years later would first come the news that Ernest had been gassed whilst. He was evacuated back to the UK and admitted to Netley Military Hospital at Southampton. News then came that had he had died there of pneumonia which had set in as a complication of the gassing.

Ernest's body was brought back to Stockport and, after a service at the Edgeley Wesleyan Chapel, was buried with military honours. A wounded soldier, then a patient at Greek Street Hospital, was fit enough to attend and sound the Last Post.

After the War, Mr & Mrs Fawkes had moved a few doors away to 47 Wellington Grove. Albert Fawkes died in 1921, aged 68.

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