Ernest Hirst

Date of birth: 7th April 1885
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment: Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
Battalion: 6th
Rank / Service No: Private, 260154
Died: 23rd August 1917, aged 32 years
Commemorated: Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium


Ernest was the sixth of 10 known siblings born to William Thomas and Eliza Hirst (nee Dymott), who married in Southampton on 4 June 1872.


The family latterly lived at 105 Clovelly Road, St. Mary’s.


Both parents were born in Southampton, William in 1849 and Eliza in 1851. Both parents passed away in the city in 1935.



Eliza Martha   b. 1873 Southampton   d. ??

William H.   b. 1874 Southampton   d. 1921 Southampton

Harriet   b. 1876 Southampton   d. ??

Rosina (Rose)   b. 1879 Southampton   d. 1974 Kensington aged 95 years   Married Percival James Pitter in Southampton in 1904. Married Ernest H. Miles in Shoreditch in 1938.

Thomas W.   b. 1881 Southampton   d. ??   Married Amelia Bartlett in Southampton in 1905.


Sidney   b. 1887 Southampton   d. ??

Florence May   b. 1889 Southampton   d. 1977 Southampton   Married George Chalk in Southampton in 1913.

Howard   b. 23 February 1891 Southampton   d. ??

Stanley   b. 1893 Southampton   d. ??



The 6th DCLI was raised in Bodmin in August 1914 and joined the 43rd Brigade in the 14th Division. After training at Aldershot, the Division landed at Boulogne on 22 May 1915.


They fought at Hooge, being the first division to be attacked with flamethrowers, and they fought around the village of Bellewaarde.


In 1916, the Division was on the Somme, seeing action at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the Battle of Delville Wood.


Ernest perished during the Third Battle of Ypres. The initial attempt to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastwards (which began at the end of July 1917) quickly became a dogged struggle against a determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 29th September 2016


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