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Quorn WW1 Roll of Honour - Ernest Grant

Died 21st March 1918, aged 31
Bapaume, France

Early years

The Grant family had moved to Quorn from Kibworth in the 1880s, and Ernest, who was the second child of John and Kate Grant, was born in 1889 in their cottage on Leicester Road, Quorn. In about 1900 the family moved again, and when Ernest was 11 years old they went to live in Knighton, off London Road in Leicester.

In 1911, Ernest is recorded as working in a shoe factory warehouse in Leicester, but he later returned to the area, working as a stoker at the ‘electric light station’ in Loughborough. On 26th December 1914, just five months after war broke out, Ernest married Florence Bagley in Quorn Parish Church, just yards away from her home at 1 Church Lane.

Off to war
The young couple were living in Loughborough when their two children were born - Gertrude Elizabeth on 30th December 1915 and Phyllis May on 22nd November 1917. Gertrude’s birth certificate shows that Ernest was still a stoker in February 1916, so it is likely that he enlisted when compulsory conscription came in shortly afterwards. He joined the 6th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. The family’s home address on Phyllis’s birth certificate is given as 11 Sidney Terrace (near Park Road), in Loughborough. She was only four months old when her father died on 21st March 1918, and it is not known if he ever saw her. Subsequent records give Florence’s address as 1 Church Lane, Quorn, so it is probable that being left with two very young children, she moved back in with her parents.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website indicates that Ernest’s body was not identified and that he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. However the Book of Remembrance in Quorn Church records that he was buried in the Hermies war cemetery.

This is not as contradictory as it sounds. Ernest was killed on the first day of the German ‘Spring Offensive’ in 1918. The allies held Hermies on 22nd March, but evacuated on 23rd, after which it was in German hands and saw heavy action. There are accounts of the cemetery being shelled, and graves, together with their markers, being destroyed.

Coping with loss
Florence Grant was left as a widow at the age of 26. Like many people and families, she was not only affected by one death, but by many. In 1915 Harold Adams had been killed; he was the only son of the family for whom she had worked as a live-in servant. In September 1916 her elder sister Ada had lost her husband (John Pick of Quorn), and four months prior to that, her cousin George Harry Bagley had also been killed. The couple’s eldest daughter Gertrude died aged 21 in 1937 and is buried in Quorn Churchyard.

Ernest's father had died in 1908, and two of his brothers, Fred and Percy, had been killed in 1915. His mother Kate must have been devastated to lose Ernest in 1918.

Florence remarries
At the end of 1926, Florence remarried. She and her husband Tom Sutton lived for many years at 1 Sarson Street and the couple had three more children; Lillian in 1928, Thomas in 1929 and John in 1931.

1) Florence with Lillian and Thomas
2) An extract from the illuminated Book of Remembrance in Quorn Church, showing Ernest’s entry at the top of the page.

 view larger image
 missing information Missing information: Can anyone provide a photograph of Ernest Grant?
Please email us at: team2021@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2020-01-13
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman with many thanks to John Boake
 Artefact ID: 2312
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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