Ernest Henry Taylor was born in the Pebbles, Washford, Somerset in 1899 and christened in St Andrew’s Church, Old Cleeve on 2 June 1899. He was known as Ernie and was the oldest son of Samuel Henry Taylor (1876-1950) and Mary Nicholas Stevens (1874-1952). Ernie joined the army during the great war and died in 1918 in Flanders at the age of 19.
At the time of Ernie’s birth his father Samuel was working in the papermill in Washford and his mother was a school teacher at the village school. In the census of 1901 he was at home. His father had moved back to the family business of Dealing with china wear. In the census of 1911 he was visiting next door to Pebbles at his Grandfather’s house, Jasmine Cottage. He was recorded as a scholar and it is likely he was attending Washford School where his mother was, by then, the headmistress.
Ernie joined the Duke of Edinburgh’s 3 Wiltshire Regiment (Regimental Number 37403) before transferring to the Princess Charlotte’s 2/4 Royal Berkshire Regiment (Regimental Number 44149) where he was promoted to the rank of lance corporal. It is not known when he joined the army.
Following a period of training, away from the front, the battalion moved back to the front line at Robecq on 12 April 2018. Ernie died in action on 12 June 1918. The battalion war diary for that day states that it was a quiet day with two enemy prisoners taken. Ernie is interred at the Robecq – St Venant military cemetery. A war gratuity of £6 8s. 6d. was paid to his mother and an additional £4 was paid to his father.