Ernest Walter Colcomb

Date of birth: 1896
Place of birth: Islington
Regiment: Middlesex
Battalion: 21st
Rank / Service No: Private, L/14759
Died: 10 February 1918, aged 22 years
Buried: Mory Abbey Military Cemetery, France (Plot III, Row B, Grave 4)


Ernest was the youngest of 7 siblings born to William Henry and Eliza Ann Colcomb (nee Bassett), who married in Herne, Kent on 9 August 1880.

William was born in Aberdare in 1858 and Eliza was born in Canterbury in 1859. She passed away in Bishop’s Waltham in 1915.


There is no actual proof that the family had any Southampton ties, although some official sources state that William and Eliza were living in Northam at the time of Ernest’s death.



William Henry   b. 1880 Battersea   d. 1947 Southampton   Married Alice Fanny Louise ?? in Edmonton in 1899. Married Catharina (Cassie) Mary Davidge in Lambeth in 1930.

Selina   b. 1882 Battersea   d. 1941 Kent   Married Henry Edmund Housden in 1900.

Eliza   b. 13 August 1885 Battersea   d. ??   Married George Herbert Cave in Edmonton on 15 July 1906.

Arthur   b. 12 November 1886 Leamington   d. ??

Henry Joseph   b. 1888 Camberwell   d. ??

Rose b. 1891 Camberwell   d. 1902 Edmonton

Ernest Walter


The 21st (Islington) battalion was raised on 18 May 1915, by the Mayor and the borough.

It arrived in France in early June 1916, as part of the 121st Brigade in the 40th Division.

They went to the front line near Loos and were later in action at the Battle of the Ancre on the Somme.


In 1917 they saw action during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and finished the year by capturing Bourlon Wood.

On 5 February 1918, the battalion transferred to the 119th Brigade in the same division.


Ernest did not perish during a specific battle and he is buried next to 4 battalion colleagues, all of whom died within a couple of days of each other.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 23rd June 2016


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