WW1 Thomas Ernest 21235

Thomas Ernest [1]

Thomas Ernest (Service number 21235) was born on 13 August 1895, the youngest son of Thomas and Anne Ernest of 48 Gillies Avenue, Auckland.

He had an older brother, Private David Ernest (52398), a farmer in Taneatua in the Bay of Plenty who was killed in action on 3 April 1918, in Somme, France. Thomas was born at Opouriao, Bay of Plenty in 1897 and the family moved to Auckland.

He attended Auckland Grammar School from 1912. He was a keen marksman and took a prominent part in the School competitions at Penrose. On leaving school he joined the staff of the National Bank of New Zealand at Onehunga. Thomas Ernest was acting scout-master of St Aidan’s Church scout troop until he went to Trentham where he enlisted on 2 May 1916. He was 5ft 10 1/2 inches tall, fair hair and brown eyes. He embarked on 19 August 1916 on the vessel ‘Aparima’ as a Private with the Lewis Machine-gun section of the 16th Reinforcements, Auckland Infantry Battalion, A (Waikato) Company of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, arriving at Devonport, England on 24 October 1916.

After arrival in England, he spent three weeks in Sling Camp before being shipped out to France, arriving on 16 November 1916 where he was transferred to a Lewis Gun team attached to 16th (Waikato) Company, 2nd Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment. [1]

Greenlane Presbyterian Church Memorial Board [2]

He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917 and died the next day at the British Expeditionary Force No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS). A CCS was part of the military casualty evacuation chain, further back from the front line than the Aid Posts and Field Ambulances. It was manned by troops of the Royal Army Medical Corps, with attached Royal Engineers and men of the Army Service Corps. The job of the CCS was to treat a man sufficiently for his return to duty or, in most cases, to enable him to be evacuated to a Base Hospital. The locations of wartime CCSs can often be identified today from the cluster of military cemeteries that surrounded them. [2]

Roll of Honour WW1 Panel — Onehunga Parish Church [3]

St Aidan's Dinneen to Larner WW1 [4]

He was awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal. He is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France, III.C.165. There is an Obituary in the Auckland Grammar School Chronicle. 1917.

He is also mentioned on the Roll of Honour at Onehunga Parish Church, St Aidan’s Church, Remuera and both brothers are on the Greenlane Presbyterian Church Memorial Board.