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  • Buried in Newark Town Cemetery Photo Murray Biddle
Person Details
Ernest Priestley was born in 1893 at Newark and was the son of Henry a carter and Betsy Priestley née Duckworth of 36 Warburton Street, Newark. His father Henry was born in 1854 at North Clifton and his mother Betsy Duckworth was born in 1866 at Newark, they were married in 1884 at Newark and went on to have 8 children, sadly one was to die in infancy or early childhood, their surviving children all born in Newark were Arthur b1887, George b1890, Ernes b1893, John Thomas b1896, Betsy Ann b1898, Sam b1902 and Winifred b1910. In the 1911 census the family are living at 36 Warburton Street, Newark and are shown as Henry 57 yrs a carter he is living with his wife Betsy 45 yrs and his children, Arthur 24 yrs a labourer, married and shown as a visitor on the night and their other children, George 21 yrs a labourer, Ernest 18 yrs a labourer, John Thomas 15 yrs an errand boy, Betsy Ann 13 yrs a scholar, Sam 9 yrs a scholar and Winifred 1 year of age.
In the 1911 census he is shown as a labourer.
20 Jun 1916
2750165 - CWGC Website
36 Warburton Street, Newark.
2/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Ernest Priestly enlisted 29th November 1914 at Newark. He gave his age as 22 yrs and 1 month, his address was 36 Warburton Street, Newark, and his next of kin was his father Henry of the same address. He was working as a maltster for Gilstraps Brewery Ltd, Newark. His medical records reveal that he was 6 feet 1 inch tall. He was posted to the Sherwood Foresters Regiment and on 2nd March 1915 landed in France. He served in France until 6th December 1915 when he returned to England and was attached to the 3rd Sherwood Foresters at Marsh Chapel camp, near Grimsby. After complaining of feeling unwell on 15 June 1916 Ernest's condition deteriorated and the following day (16th June) he was admitted to the Military Hospital at Grimsby with cellulitus of the face, presumed to be the result of an injury to his lip as his lip had become swollen, black and gangrenous. He died at the hospital at 05.45 hrs 20th June 1916. An inquest on 22 June into his death gave the cause of death as septicaemia. He was buried in Newark-upon-Trent Cemetery, Nottinghamshire. He had served for 1 year and 221 days.
Nottingham Evening Post, 23 June 1916: ‘Fatal Blood Poisoning. Mystery Of A Newark Soldier. Mystery surrounds the death of Ernest Priestley, 23 (sic), of 36, Warburton-road, Newark, a private of the 8th Reserve Battalion Sherwood Foresters, who died in the military hospital in Grimsby from blood poisoning. At the inquest yesterday [22 June] the evidence showed that while in camp on the 15th inst. deceased complained of feeling unwell. His face became much swollen, and the next day he was so ill that he was removed to hospital. Surgeon Major CB Turner said that when admitted to that institution deceased had a temperature of 103.5 deg. His face was swollen, and the loer lip gangrenous. Everything possible was done, but the man died from septicaemia. There was no trace of any injury, but deceased must have sustained a scratch or some slight wound, presumably to his lip, to set up the trouble. Sergeant-Major Spencer said he had made inquiries amongst deceased’s comrades, none of whom had heard of his scratching or pricking himself. The jury returned a verdict that deceased died from septicaemia, but that there was no evidence to show how it was induced. Lieut. Woodard, acting adjutant of the battalion, expressed regret on behalf of the officers and men at the loss of deceased, and offered condolences to the relatives. The Coroner: We can ill-afford to ose such men at the present juncture.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Article published 28th June 1916 in the Newark Advertiser :- 'Son of Mr & Mrs H. Priestley, 36 Warburton Street, Newark. Joined the local Territorials after the outbreak of hostilities and after the completion of training, went to the front. Where he remained for 11 months, during which he saw a great deal of trench life. Afterwards sent back to England, when he was attached to the 3rd Sherwood Foresters at Marsh Chapel camp, near Grimsby. He was home on leave nearly a fortnight since, on returning to Marsh Chapel, he had a slight swelling arise on his upper lip, which appeared to develop into a boil, causing much pain. Taken into hospital, where he died of septicaemia.'
Remembered on


  • Buried in Newark Town Cemetery Photo Murray Biddle
    Ernest Priestley - Buried in Newark Town Cemetery Photo Murray Biddle