CWG: Private Ernest Sedgbeer

Private Ernest Sedgbeer

Ernest John Sedgbeer was born in Taunton in the summer of 1891, the second of seven children to Henry and Alice Sedgbeer. Henry worked in a foundry, and his son joined him as a labourer.

By the time of the 1911 census, most of the nine members of the family disappear from the records – it is likely that these were lost – but both father and son are to be found living in South Wales – Henry working as a furnace stoker in the Rhondda, Ernest as a labourer below ground in Llanwonno, near Pontypridd.

Ernest seems to have had an opportunity to find other employment, and started work for Great Western Railways in February 1914. War was imminent, however, and a little over a year later, he had enlisted.

Ernest first joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry as a Private, but transferred over to the Dorsetshire Regiment. He was certainly involved in fighting on the Western Front, although full details of his military service are not documented.

His records show that he was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 1915 Star. Private Sedgbeer was wounded in July 1916 and medically evacuated back to England, where he was admitted to King’s Hospital in Lambeth. Sadly, he was to die of his injuries on 7th July 1916, aged just 25 years old.

Ernest John Sedgbeer lies at rest in the St James’ Cemetery in his home town of Taunton, Somerset.


The local newspaper reported on Private Sedgbeer’s funeral, although it seems to have attributed it to the wrong brother.

The death took place… on Friday last, of Private Charles Sedgebeer of the Dorset Regiment, who was severely wounded in the recent heavy fighting on the Western Front. Deceased was the second son of Mr and Mrs Henry Sedgebeer… and was employed on the railway before the war. His father and three brothers are on active service in France, and one brother in the Navy. The eldest brother has won the DCM.

Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser: Wednesday 19th July 1916

Ernest was indeed the second son of the family, but Charles was the oldest, and survived the war.


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Ernest John Sedgbeer
(from findagrave.com)

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