Ernest William Arney

Date of birth: 1888
Place of birth: Lordshill, Southampton
Regiment: Coldstream Guards
Battalion: 2nd
Rank / Service No: Private, 20204
Died: 9th December 1917, aged 29 years
Buried: Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France (Plot VIII, Row A, Grave 19)


Ernest was the second of 5 siblings born to James and Julia Arley (nee O’Connor), who married in the Winchester area in 1886.


James had been married before, to Ann Biggs. She was born in Romsey in 1839 and passed away in Lordshill in 1885; the couple had 4 children……

James   b. 1866 Lordshill   d. 1898 Lambeth

Frank   b. 1868 Lordshill   d. ??

Henry   b. 15 September 1875 Lordshill   d. 1946 Southampton Married Alice Annie Hampton in St. Mary’s in 1900.


Julia also brought a child into the marriage……

Ellen (Nellie) O’Connor   b. 1880 Ireland


James had been born in Downton in 1844 and he died in Southampton in 1928.

Julia was born in Beaminster in 1853 and she passed away in Southampton in 1938.



Leonard Alfred   b. 1887 Lordshill   d. 30 January 1961 Southampton   Married Rosa Eleanor ? in St. Denys on 11 September 1913 (no official record). Left £2113 2s

Ernest William

Reginald Charles   b. 24 April 1889 Lordshill   d. 1974 Southampton   Married Nellie W. Wakeling in Marylebone in 1912.

Lena Edith   b. 24 May 1893 Lordshill   d. 1948 Bishops Waltham Married Arthur G. Windust in Southampton in 1913.


Ernest married Priscilla Emily King in Southampton in 1913; there is no evidence of children.

Priscilla was born in Hounsdown in 1888 and, after Ernest’s demise, she married Thomas Pickett in 1925; she passed away in 1935.



It is probable that Ernest perished during some intense fighting at the end of November / beginning of December 1917.


The Guards Division attacked the German-held village of Fontaine Notre Dame between 23-28 November; there were many casualties on both sides.


What remained of the Division was then ordered to try and hold the enemy at Gouzeaucourt with, once again, many casualties.


Wimereux was an important hospital centre from October 1914 until the end of the war, which suggests that Ernest probably just about survived the two actions described.


The cemetery contains 2,847 Commonwealth WWI burials.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 18th November 2016


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