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Person Details
Newstead Nottinghamshire
Ernest was the son of Samuel Straw and his wife Sarah nee Cope. His father was born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, and his mother in Newbold Verdon, Derbyshire, on 19 March 1876. Samuel and Sarah were married in 1896 (J/F/M Basford) and had had eight children by 1911 when they had been married for 15 years. Only seven of their children had survived infancy: William birth b,. 1896 (J/A/S Basford), Ernest b. 1897, Joseph b. abt 1899, Meynell b. 20 August 1901 (J/A/S Basford), George b. abt 1903, Elizabeth Annie (also k/a Annie Elizabeth) b 6 August 1907 (J/A/S Basford) and Elsie May b. 1910 (A/M/J Nottingham). Their sons were born in Newstead and their daughters in Radford. They later had another son, Thomas b. 20 January 1917 (birth registered 1917 Nottingham, mother's maiden name Cope). In 1901 Samuel (34) a coal miner, and Sarah (25) were living at 54 Newstead Colliery Cottages, Newstead. In the home on the night of the census were their three sons, William (4), Ernest (3) and Joseph (1) and two boarders, Samuel Key (50) and Harry Geeson (18) who were both miners. By 1911 the family was living at 17 Ronald Street, Radford. Samuel (44) was still working as a miner. All seven children were in their parents' home on the night of the census: William (14) and Ernest (13) who were both working as a 'rover frame doffer', Joseph (11), Meynell (9), George (7), Annie Elizabeth (3) and Elsie May (1). Samuel and Sarah's youngest daughter, Elsie May, died in 1915 (J/A/S Nottingham) aged 5 years. According to a notice of Ernest's death which appeared in the local paper in 1919, the family home was then at 52 Bloomsgrove Street, Radford. The same notice mentions that his brother Bill (William) was serving with the Colours. Ernest's father Samuel probably died in 1936 (Mar Nottingham) aged 68. In 1939 Samuel's widow Sarah Straw (b. 19 March 1876) was living at 52 Bloomsgrove Street, Radford. Also in the household were her youngest child Thomas Straw b. 20 January 1917, a tobacco warehouseman, her married daughter, Elizabeth Annie (sic) Duckworth (b. 6 August 1907) and Elizabeth's husband Albert Duckworth (b. 5 June 1901), a printing labourer, whom she had married in 1928 (J/F/M Nottingham). Also in the household were their two children, Annie Duckworth b. 30 August 1928 (m. Haydn H Brealey 1955 J/A/S Nottingham, d. 2000 Oct Nottingham age 72), and Reginal Duckworth b. 21 June 1923, both of whom were still at school. Sarah Straw probably died in 1963 (Mar Nottingham, b. abt 1877) aged 86.
In 1911 he was a 'rover frame doffer'
27 May 1918
20
1439138 - CWGC Website
280618
He enlisted in Ollerton, residence Radford
Private
South Nottinghamshire Hussars
formerly 1668 South Notts Hussars. Ernest was drowned when HMT Leasowe Castle was sunk in the Mediterranean on passage from Alexandria, Egypt. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Alexandria. The following account is by a local resident, posted on the Woodborough village website: 'The Hussars had been fighting in the Middle East and they were returning to France where they were to be re-formed as a machine gun company. Their new title was to be the South Notts Machine Gun Battalion. They were sent to Alexandria, Egypt and had received orders to embark on a transporter ship called the "Leasowe Castle" on 23th May 1918 ¹. On 27th May, the ship was struck by a torpedo with devastating results. A very detailed account of the fateful journey may be read in the historical records of the South Notts Hussars Yeomanry by G. Fellows. The "Leasowe Castle" was one of a convoy of six transporters and they were accompanied by a number of destroyers. The weather was good, the sea was calm and a brilliant moon shone in the night sky. At 1.30 am on May 27th 1918 when the ship was about 104 miles from Alexandria, the "Leasowe Castle" was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side. The engines were immediately stopped. The troops mustered to their stations, rolls were called, boats lowered and rafts flung overboard. The Japanese destroyer "R" stood by, while the remainder of the convoy continued on their journey at full speed. We are informed that perfect order was maintained on board, the men standing quietly at their stations as if on parade, while those detailed for the work assisted in lowering the boats. Lifeboats were launched in the course of forty five minutes and the rescue attempt continued smoothly. The "Leasowe Castle" remained fairly steady, though sinking a little at the stern, with a slight list to port. All of 'B' (Warwickshire Yeomanry) Company of the Battalion went over the port side and were picked up in the water. About 1.45am. HM sloop "Lily" appeared having turned back from the convoy to assist in the work of rescue. She ran her bows up to the starboard side of the "Leasowe Castle" and made fast, so that troops were able to pass quickly on board. Meanwhile the Japanese destroyer put up a smoke screen for protection. Suddenly about 3.00am a bulkhead in the aft part of the ship gave way, and with a loud noise the "Leasowe Castle" sank rapidly. The "Lily" had a narrow escape, as the hawsers connecting her with the sinking ship were cut with an axe just in time.'
Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 6 February 1919: ‘Straw. Missing May 27th, 1918, now reported drowned at sea, Pte E Straw, South Notts Hussars, 52, Bloomsgrove-street. A light is from our household gone, a voice we loved is still, a place is vacant in our home, which never can be filled. From sorrowing mother, father, brothers, and sister, brother Bill with the colours.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 27 May 1920: ‘Straw. In loving memory of our dear son, Pte Ernest Straw, South Notts. Hussars, drowned at sea May 27th, 1918. Too dearly loved to be forgotten. Sadly missed by his loving father, mother, brothers, and sister.’’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: His father Samuel was his legatee.
Remembered on