Private Ernest Bird (28901)

17th (Welbeck Rangers) Bn, Sherwood Foresters The (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment), 117th Brigade, 39th Division, B.E.F.

Malvern Commemoration: St Leonard Newland,

Burial/Commemoration: Knightsbridge Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart

Nature of Death: Killed in action France 3/9/1916

Age: 19

Capbadge of the Notts & Derby Regiment (Sherwood Foresters)

In September 1916, the Malvern News reported that: “Ernest Bird, formerly a Newland choir boy has been killed in France whilst being carried to the Ambulance.” Unfortunately no mention is made of with whom he served. The details shown above are those of a soldier who was killed close to this newspaper report. The Newland choirboys often came from many miles away and boarded, so it is possible that someone who was born in Nottingham as the above man was, should be commemorated at Newland.

Ernest Bird of Nottingham, lived at 107 Flewitt Street in the town.  He  was born in 1897 the son of the late Henry a hawker and Elizabeth Bird of 64 Mitchell Street, Nottingham Henry was born in 1858 at Derby, he died in 1908 aged 58 yrs, Elizabeth Bird was born in 1863 at Nottingham, they were married (possibly 1869 at Nottingham) and had 10 children.  In 1911 his widowed mother Elizabeth 48 yrs lived at 64 Mitchell Street, Ernest in 1911 lived at 107 Flewitt Street , Nottingham with 7 of his siblings he is shown as being 14 yrs and his occupation is that of a sailor. His pension record card shows his next of kin as Edith his sister and their address as 107 Flewitt Street, Nottingham

Several people placed tributes in the Nottingham Evening Post, published on 28th September 1916.  These included his brothers Tom (in France) and Alf (in Egypt), a Gladys who may have been his fiance and also his fellow workers in the “Children’s Service.”

The cemetery in which Ernest Bird is buried took its name from a communication trench, and was begun at the outset of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. It was used by units fighting on that front until the German withdrawal in February 1917 and was used again by fighting units from the end of March to July 1918, when the German advance brought the front line back to the Ancre. Knightsbridge Cemetery contains 548 First World War burials, 141 of them unidentified. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

Malvern News 16/9/16
Nottingham Evening Post 28/9/1916
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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