Sunday, 18 November 2012

Ernest Edward Taylor (1879-1944), explosives worker

My grandfather William Taylor had nine siblings (six brothers and three sisters). However, he doesn’t seem to have had much to do with them during the latter part of his life. I am trying to find out what I can about their lives. Ernest Edward Taylor was one of my grandfather’s elder brothers.

His birth certificate shows that Ernest was born on 28th March 1879 at Weedon Barracks, Northamptonshire. His father George Taylor was a bombardier in the 4th Brigade, Royal Artillery. Ernest’s mother was George’s wife Margaret Taylor nee Smiles. George was posted to Woolwich, where Ernest was baptised at St Mary Magdalene, Woolwich on 26 November 1880. George was then sent to India (where his daughter Harriet Jane was born in 1881) then back to Woolwich (where his son Charles was born in 1885). I don’t know whether Ernest went to India with his parents.

It appears that George left the army in 1886 and the family moved to Charlton. The 1891 census shows George Taylor (aged 41, a labourer) and Margaret (36) living at 9 West Street, Charlton with their children George (14), Ernest (12), Harriet (9), Charles (6), Margaret (4) and Thomas (2) and William (10 months). This was an area of poor housing.

In 1900, Ernest married a local girl Annie Edith Bradley (born in Charlton) in Woolwich. He was aged 21, she was 22. The 1901 census shows them living at 74 Church Street, Woolwich. Ernest’s occupation was general labourer.

By 1911, they were living in 3 rooms at 17 Monk Street, Woolwich. Ernest, aged 32, was an explosives worker at Woolwich Arsenal. The census return says that they had one child who had died. In 1916 they had another child, Hazel Marion Florette Taylor, who was born in Woolwich. 

Electoral registers show Ernest and Annie living at 15 Woolwich Common in 1919. The next record I can find of them is not until 1932, when Annie (but not Ernest) was living at 310 Plumstead High Street. Annie and Ernest are shown to be living at this address from 1935 to 1938. That year their daughter Hazel (by then of voting age) is also listed with them. She married Frank A Thouless in 1939.

Ernest died on 16th Aug 1944 in Hammersmith Hospital aged 65 and was buried in grave H / 1334 in Plumstead Cemetery. Annie died in 1953 (also in Hammersmith) aged 75 and was buried in the same grave, which has no stonework on it.

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