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Person Details
Old Basford, Nottingham
Ernest was born on 1 April but there is a discrepancy in the year between the dates on the census (1886/1887) and that on the RN&RM War Graves Roll (1885). CWGC gives his age as 31 but his age in the notice of his death in the local paper was given as 29. Ernest was the son of Joseph and Sarah Ann Smith. Joseph was born in Riddings, Derbyshire (abt. 1853) and Sarah was born in Blidworth, Nottinghamshire (abt. 1852). According to the 1911 census, Joseph and Sarah had had nine children born alive of whom only six were still living at the time of the census. Eight children were named on the 1881, 1901 and 1911 census; Elizabeth M (b. Hucknall Torkard), Henry (b. Hucknall), Annie (b. Hucknall), Arthur (b. 1876, Huckhall), Joseph (b. Bulwell), Frederick (b. Nottingham), Albert (b. Basford killed in action 3/5/1917 serving with 2nd Battalion Lancashire Regiment) and Ernest (b. Basford). In 1881 Joseph (27), a coal miner, and Sarah (28) were living at 14 Birkland Street, Bulwell, with their five children; Elizabeth (10), Henry (8), Annie (6), Arthur (5) and Joseph (under one year). The family has not yet been traced on the 1891 census. By 1901 Joseph was a licensed victualler (own account) at 33 Church Street, Basford. As well as his wife Sarah, four children were living at home; Elizabeth (30, no occupation), Frederick (18, coal worker), Albert (16, in work) and Ernest (14, driver, colliery). Sometime before 1911 Ernest joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry as in 1911 he was serving with the RN in China and the East indies. Joseph and Sarah were still living at 33 Church Street in 1911 but only two children were at home on the night of the census, Joseph (30, miner) and Albert (26, barman). The Royal Navy notified his father of his son's death; the address on the RN record was The Bowling Green, Church Street, Old Basford. However, the notice of Ernest's death in the local paper gives the family's address as 'The Fox and Crown', Old Basford.
In 1901 he worked in a colliery. By 1911 he was serving with the Royal Navy (RMLI)
05 Jun 1916
31
3038533 - CWGC Website
PO/12856
Private
Royal Marine Light Infantry
Portsmouth Division. In 1911 he was serving in China and the East Indies. His last ship was HMS Hampshire. The armoured cruiser Hampshire on passage to north Russia with Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, onboard, was sunk by a mine off Marwick Head, Orkney on 5 June 1916. Kitchener, his staff and 643 men were lost. Ernest's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 22).
Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 13 June 1916: 'Ernest Smith. Pte Ernest Smith aged 29 (sic) years, Fox and Crown, Old Basford, lost in HMS Hampshire. Mother, brothers and sisters.' 2016 - A First World War Centenary Wood devised by the Woodland Trust has been planted at Kirkwall, Orkney. The copse will be planted with 746 saplings to commemorate the 737 men lost in HMS Hampshire and also the nine men lost from the drifter Lauren Crown which struck a mine after she was sent to help clear the minefield.
Remembered on