Ernest Albert Cropp

Date of birth: 4th quarter 1886
Place of birth: Romsey, Hampshire
Service No.: 21875
Rank: A / Sergeant
Regiment / Division: Wiltshire Regiment / Duke of Edinburgh’s
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Died: 8th October 1918 aged 32 years
Death location: France


Before the War
Ernest was born 1886 to Daniel Kelsey (28/02/1850 – 1921) and Mary Ann Cropp (nee Bennett 1845 – 1908).  He was christened on 26th November 1886.  His parents were married in Romsey on 25th January 1875.

Ernest’s siblings were:

Flora Louise (1878 – 1955) Married William J Dunnings in Southampton in 1902.
William James (1880 – 1961) Married Edith Bertha Instrell in Southampton in 1907.
Frederick George (1882 – 1945) Married Gertrude Arnfield in Southampton in 1905.
Ada Ella (1884 – 1953) Married William G Moors in Southampton in 1914.
Eva Elsie (1888 – 1968) Married George Brown in Southampton in 1915.
Edwin Harold (1893 – 11/12/1954) Married Dora Evelyn Hawkins on the Isle of Wight in 1919.  Edwin served in the Hampshire regiment in WW1.

On the 1891 census Ernest is living with his family at 9 Kent Road, Portswood, Southampton.  His father is employed as a Gardener.

In the 1901 census Ernest’s family are living at the same address.  Ernest is living and working as a Page Boy at the Tivoli Hotel, 15 Above Bar Street, Southampton.  His brother William is employed as a Painter and brother Frederick is a Grocer’s Porter.  Ernest’s sister Flora is a Domestic Housemaid.

By the 1911 Census Ernest is living at the Kent Road address with his father, brother Edwin and sister Eva.  His father is aged 60 and still working as a Gardener and Ernest is employed as an Ironmonger.  Edwin is a Painter.

Military History
Ernest previously served in the Hampshire Regiment, Service Number 10921.  When he died he was serving as Acting Sergeant in the 1st Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment.  At the outbreak of the war the Regiment was based at Tidworth and left for France on 13th August 1914.

On the day that Ernest died his Battalion was involved in the Battle of Beaurevoir which was one of the Battles for the Hindenburg Line.  This was a German defensive position on the Western Front, built in the winter of 1916-1917.  In the War Diary of the Wiltshire Regiment for the 8th October 1918 it is recorded that at 1.00am on that day, after heavy shelling by their artillery, they attacked the Beaurevoir Line.  Even though they met with the enemy’s machine gun fire they succeeded in reaching their objective.  By 7.00 am the Battalion had advanced to the Beaurevoir Trenches and captured many prisoners.

Ernest was killed in action on 8th October 1918.

He was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

Ernest is buried at the Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gouy, France.  Grave ref VI. A. 19.   The Cemetery is located east of the village on the north side of the road to Beaurevoir.  It was made by the 18th Field Ambulance and the 50th (Northumbria) Division and was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought from Battlefields.  Most of the graves are of servicemen who died in October 1918.

Researcher: Jackie Chandler
Published.: 5th June 2014
Updated: Insert dates here

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