[Skip to content]



  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany. Source: Geoff Burgess and the findagrave website.
Person Details
24 Jan 1896
Hednesford Staffordshire
Ernest Robert Whilton was born in 1896 at Hednesford and was the son of Frank and Sarah Whilton née Davis. His father Frank was born in 1855 at Shenton, his mother Sarah Davis was born in 1855 at Wolverhampton. They were married on 14th April 1874 at St Peter's Church Hednesford, and had the following children: Florence b1891 Cannock, and Alice b1893, Percy b1894, Ernest b1896 and Ada b1897 who were all born in Hednesford, In the 1911 census the family was living at 3 Cannock Road, Hednesford and shown as Frank Whilton 56 yrs a butcher, his wife Sarah 56 yrs and their children, Florence 20 yrs working at home, Alice 18 yrs an assistant milliner, Percy 17yrs an assistant butcher, Ernest 15 yrs a blacksmiths striker and Ada 14 yrs a scholar.
1911 - blacksmith's striker. 1918 - fitter.
15 Feb 1919
23
330901 - CWGC Website
142412
Aircraftman 2Nd Class
Royal Air Force
1st Aeroplane Supply Depot, Royal Air Force Ernest Robert Whilton enlisted in the RAF on 13 April 1918 as a Mechanic Class 3, later promoted to Aircraftman 2nd Class. Ernest was posted to the BEF on 28 April 1918 and to BEF lAD on 1 May. He was posted to the Aero Service Unit on 14 October then to 79 Squadron ASU on 21 November 1918. Ernest died at 36 Casualty Clearing Station of pneumonia on 15th February 1919 during the Spanish Flu epidemic. His RAF record refers to information on a War Casualty Card (destroyed 1921): '13 February 1919 dangerously ill pneumonia 36 CCS France (sic). 15 February died in 36 CCS France (sic).' Several of his RAF colleagues also died of pneumonia and are buried alongside him in Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany (grave ref: II.D.22). The histories of 79 Squadron, 36th CCS and Cologne Southern Cemetery indicate that Ernest was part of the post-war garrison at Cologne. 79 Squadron (RFC) was formed at Gosport in August 1917 and moved to France in February 1918. After the war it formed part of the British Army of the Occupation. 36th Casualty Clearing Station: constructed at Heilly France 1916, closed 1917 and moved to Cayeux. The 36th CCS moved several times until it was set up in Cologne on 26 December 1918 at Evangelisches Krankenhauw in Lindenthal as an officers' hospital for Cologne garrison. (www.longlonggtrail.co.uk) Presumably the impact of an outbreak of influenza meant the hospital admitted patients of all ranks. CWGC - History of Cologne Southern Cemetery (extract): 'More than 1,000 Allied prisoners and dozens of German servicemen were buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery during the First World War. Commonwealth forces entered Cologne on 6 December 1918, less than a month after the Armistice, and the city was occupied under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles until January 1926. During this period the cemetery was used by the occupying garrison. In 1922 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries at Kassel, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.' 3324 casualties (www.cwgc.org)
This is the only CWGC record surname Whilton; the record gives his first names as Robert Ernest. No family connection yet found with Nottinghamshire. There are only four other CWGC records of casualties with similar surnames and initials, none of whom have a Nottinghamshire connection. CWGC: 'Son of Frank and Sarah Whilton, of 3 Cannock Road, Hednesford, Staffs.' CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Blessed are the dead' WMR 29090: Commemorated on Hednesford War Memorial, Rugeley Road, Hednesford WS12 1TB
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany. Source: Geoff Burgess and the findagrave website.
    Ernest Robert Whilton - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany. Source: Geoff Burgess and the findagrave website.