CWG: Serjeant Ernest Morris

Serjeant Ernest Morris

Ernest George Morris was born in September 1879, one of six children to John and Eliza Morris. John was a carter for the railways, and this was a trade his son was to follow.

Ernest married Sarah Garrett in Bristol on Christmas Eve 1904, and the young couple went on to have two children, Charles and William.

Ernest’s father died in 1907, and Ernest became head of the family. He moved them in with him in Bristol, and by the 1911 census, the household consisted of Ernest, his mother Eliza, his brothers Frank and William, sister Lily and his own son William.

The census also lists Ernest as a widow; I have not been able to track down any records of when Sarah died. Their eldest boy, Charles, passed very early on, however, so this is likely why Ernest set up home with his family.

By this time, Ernest was working as a carman in the Bristol Goods Yards, and it appears that had a strong character. In September 1912, he was cautioned for “smoking whilst on duty and refusal to give an undertaking to refrain from doing so in future.” He cited his reason that the rulebook “did not prohibit men from smoking when not with a load.”

Ernest was suspended for two days, and was only allowed back to work when he promised to follow instructions in the future. This, it seemed he may not have done, as he was dismissed just three months later.

Ernest’s military service records are hard to piece together. He enlisted in the Rifle Brigade as a Gunner, going on to achieve the rank of Serjeant. He was awarded the Victory and British medals – the standard awards for men involved in the Great War.

Serjeant Morris survived the war, but there is little information for him after that. He passed away on 28th June 1920, aged 40 years old, although there is no record of how he passed. His war pension was awarded to his mother, who was acting as guardian for his son William.

Ernest George Morris lies at rest in the cemetery of his home town of Langport.


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