Ernest was born in 1889 in Tilston Cheshire. He was recorded there in the census of 1901 aged 12. His father was William 40, a gardener (working for a barrister George Mason). His mother was Mary and she had been born in St Asaph. Their children were James 14 an apprentice gardener, Ernest 12, Mary R 10 and William S 6.
So far I have been unable to trace Ernest in the 1911 census. He was not listed at home with his parents who were then living at Gwsaney Yard near Mold, where William Joseph, 51, was a Gardener. His wife of 26 years, Mary was 52. The form tells us she had given birth to four children all of whom were still alive. The youngest William was still at home. He was 17 and an Apprentice Gardener.
Ernest’s service records are well preserved and they tell us that he enlisted at Chester Castle on the 3rd September 1915. His Attestation papers reveal that he was 26 years old and that he lived in Mold. His next of kin was his father William Joseph Weaver of Gwysaney Gardens, Mold where he continued to be a Gardener. Ernest’s trade or calling was that of joiner/carpenter.
The following reference had been sent to the Recruiting Officials at Chester Castle on the 16th August 1915
Memo from Vickers and Sons
Builders and Contractors
Re Ernest Weaver, joiner.
We have pleasure in giving the above the best of references a good reliable tradesman and if he had not passed we should have kept him as one of the last to leave us. he is and always was through his apprenticeship conscientious over his time and work and we cannot say how sorry we are to lose him. he goes with our best wishes and on his return we shall be glad of the offer of his services. There are two others who ought to go and we will do our best to persuade them to follow on,
The records contain a Certificate of Trade Proficiency signed by a civilian inspector, working for the army. This was dated 21st August 1915 in Tilston, Malpas. It said
I certify that I have tested recruit Ernest Weaver and find him to be a very good joiner.
Ernest was medically examined on the 16th August 1915 in Chester. The description of him at that examination tells us he was 26 years and 9 months old and was a Joiner . He was 5 feet 8 and a quarter inches tall, weighed 137 lbs. His chest measured 36 and a half inches with an expansion range of 2 and a half inches. His physical development was good as was his vision. He was deemed to be fit for service in the field. His father William Joseph Weaver was named as his next of kin. He was assigned to The 228th Field Coy of the Royal Engineers in Barnsley.
Ernest spent the first 9 months of his Army life training and serving in the UK but on the 2nd May 1916 he embarked for France as part of the British Expeditionary Force . He was awarded the Military Medal on the 28th September 1916 It was listed in the London Gazette on the 9th December 1916. I have been unable so far to discover what brave deed he did to deserve this gallantry award.
On the 29th October 1916 he was accidentally injured in the field while on military duty. He was admitted to 30 General Hospital on the 1st November 1916 where he was found to have a simple fracture of the 3rd metacarpul left. The records say that ….
The injury occurred 29th October 1916 while he was engaged in erecting a hut in the vicinity of Ouderdom. The soldier was in no way to blame for the accident.
Ernest was returned to the UK on the 8th November 1916 probably on account of his injury. He returned to France/Flanders on the 16th February 1917. He was killed in action on the 13th August 1917. He has no known grave and is named on the Menin Gate at Ypres. He had served for 1 year, 363 days.
His records include signed receipts from his father for his medals and another communication regarding Ernest’s possessions. All that he had in the world was one religious card. There was correspondence about a memorial scroll and plaque.
The army required a list of Ernest’s living relatives after the war. His father completed the form on the 28th November 1919. It listed the family as….
Father -William Joseph Weaver of Gwsaney Gardens, Mold and mother Mary Weaver of the same address.
Full blood brothers were James 33 of Fairview Gwernymynydd Mold and William 25 of Gwsaney Gardens.
Full blood sister was Mary Rimmer Robinson 29, of Eyton Post Office, Wellington, Salop.