Biography of Private Ernest Durham (53408)
10th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Formerly 16th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Died 17th August 1918

Soldier

  • Name: Ernest Durham
  • Date of birth: 1887
  • Place of Birth: Billingborough, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: October – December 1887
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
Father

  • Name: Isaac Durham
  • DOB: 1850
  • Place of Birth: Horbling, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Engine driver at feather factory
Mother

  • Name: Mary Ann Grocock
  • DOB: 1852
  • Place Of Birth: Billingborough, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 1873 Bourne District
Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • George Durham, 1874, Horbling
  • Charles Henry Durham, 1875, Billingborough
  • Martha Hart Durham, 1877, Billingborough
  • James Durham, 1880, Billingborough
  • Alfred Durham, 1883, Billingborough
  • Ernest Durham, 1887, Billingborough
Census

  • 1891: Ernest is living with his parents at 11 Blackmiles, Billingborough, Lincolnshire.
  • 1901: Ernest is living with his mother at 28 Vine Street, Billingborough, Lincolnshire.
  • 1911: Ernest is living with his wife and child at Vine Street, Billingborough, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 23 and he is listed as a road foreman.
Relatives in services

  • Three of his brothers also in WW1.
Wife

  • Name: Hannah Garwell
  • Date of birth: 1888
  • Place of Birth: West Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire
Marriage

  • Date of Marriage: April – June 1908
  • Place of Marriage: Bourne District

Children

  • Ernest Frank Durham, 1908, Toft
  • Kenneth Durham, 1912, Bourne District
  • Harty Durham, 1916, Bourne District
  • Olive M Durham, 1918 Bourne District
Wife’s parents

  • Father: Charles Garwell
  • Mother: Mary Taylor
Family Stories and Tales

  • Ernest’s sister Martha married John W Robinson and together they took over the Post Office at HMS Daedalus in 1916 which became RAF Cranwell in 1918.
  • Hannah Garwell became quite a figure in Billingborough having to bring up a young family after the war on her own and set up a successful sewing business, eventually employing 5 seamstresses through difficult times.

Newspaper Mentions

  • War Office Weekly Casualty List, September 18th 1917
    WOUNDED
    SHERWOOD FORESTERS
    Durham 53408 E. (Billingborough)

 

  • Lincolnshire Echo Wednesday 21st August 1918
    Another Billingborough soldier has made the great sacrifice. At the beginning of the week Mrs Ernest Durham, Vine Street received an official telegram that her husband, Private Ernest Durham (Notts and Derby’s) was dangerously ill in France and this was followed by another wire stating that he had died from gas shell poisoning. Deceased who had been previously gassed was about 30 years of age and before joining the forces was a foreman over the local road workers under the District Council. While kind and courteous to the men he was nevertheless a trusted and reliable official and the news of his death has created a painful feeling amongst those who knew him. Deep sympathy is expressed for the widow, who in a delicate state of health, is left with three young children; also his mother and other relatives. Three other brothers are in the Army and unfortunately, one of them, Pte C. Durham is a prisoner in Germany.

 

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 24th August 1918
    BILLINGBOROUGH
    DEATH OF A LOCAL SOLDIER – At the beginning of the week Mrs Ernest Durham, Vine Street received an official telegram that her husband, Private Ernest Durham (Notts and Derby’s) was dangerously ill in France and this was followed by another wire stating that he had died from gas-shell poisoning. Deceased who had been previously “gassed” was about 30 years of age and before joining the forces was a foreman over the local road workers. Kind and courteous to the men, he was a trusted and reliable official and the news of his death has created deep sympathy for the widow, (who in a delicate state of health, is left with three young children); also his mother and other relatives. Three other brothers are in the Army and one of them, Pte C. Durham being a prisoner in Germany.

 

  • Sleaford Gazette Saturday 7th September 1918
    BILLINGBOROUGH
    ANOTHER SACRIFICE
    We regret to state that another Billingborough soldier has made the great secrifice.  At the beginning of the week Mrs. Ernest Durham, Vine Street, received an official telegram that her husband, Priv Ernest Durham (Notts. and Derby’s) was dangerously ill in France and this was followed by another wire stating that he had died from gas shell poisoning.  Deceased, who had been previously gassed, was about 30 years of age and before joining the Forces was foreman over the local road workers under the District Council.  While kind and courteous to the men, he was, nevertheless, a trusted and reliable official, and the news of his death has created a painful feeling amongst these who knew him.  Deep sympathy is expressed for the widow, who, in a delicate state of health, is left with three young children; also his mother and other relatives.  Three other brothers are in the Army, and, infortunatly, one of them, Priv C Durham, is a prisoner of war in Germany.

 

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found
Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that Private Ernest Durham, 53408, 10th Bn, Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment was killed in action on 17th August 1918 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • Available

Effects Left To

  • Wife Hannah

Medals

  • The British Medal
  • The Victory Medal

Memorials

 

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In memory of Private Ernest Durham, 53408, 10th Bn., Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) who died on 17 August 1918 Age 30
  • Husband of H. Durham. Native of Billingborough, Lincs.
  • Remembered with Honour, Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport
  • VII. B. 11B.

© Photo courtesy of Nick Robinson

© Photo courtesy of Nick Robinson

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

  • Enlisted in Bourne
  • Died of wounds

 

  • This is ongoing research and will be posted when completed

Sources

  • WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
  • British Newspaper Archive.
  • Fold 3
  • Find My Past
  • Genealogist
  • Forces War Records
  • British Army Service Numbers
  • War Gratuity Calculator
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • National Archives – Battalion War Diaries
  • General Registry Office
  • Nick Robinson

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