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  • Remembered on Family gravestone in Hucknall Cemetery.
Photo by Murray Biddle
Person Details
Hucknall Torkard Nottinghamshire
Ernest was the son of William and Hannah Kirk. His father died on 4 December 1881 at the age of 41 and his mother on 3 December 1936 age 75. He married his wife Agnes Bettridge (born 1884 Hucknall) at Basford Register Office on 6th October 1906. Six months prior on 30th April 1906 Agnes had given birth to her first child, Mabel Alice Kirk Bettridge, Ernest in all probability being the father. They went on to have a further four children, William born 24th February 1908, Florence Elizabeth born 19th March 1910, Margaret Ellen born 8th March 1912 and Emma born 28th August 1914; all the children were born in Hucknall. In 1911 census they lived at 83 Bestwood Road Butlers Hill, Hucknall Torkard, Nottingham, and were shown as Ernest 30 yrs a coal miner/hewer head of the family. He is living with his wife Agnes 27 yrs and their 3 children Mabel 4 yrs, William 3 yrs and Florence 1 year.
He was a miner (hewer)
01 Feb 1917
36
34576 - CWGC Website
14955
Driver
Army Service Corps
Driver Ernest Kirk enlisted on 1st September 1914 at Hucknall, he was 32 yrs and 14 days old, he gave his occupation as a miner and his religion as Church of England. He stated he was married to Agnes Kirk and that they had 5 children. He was posted to the 8th Divisional Train, Army Service Corps. Following his initial training he joined the British Expeditionary Force in France, he embarked from Southampton on board the SS Trafford Hall and disembarked at Le Harve, France the following day. He was admitted to the 25th Field Ambulance on 11th February 1915 with a septic leg, he was discharged and returned to his unit on 16th February 1915. He was granted home leave from 15th November 1916 until 10th December 1916 when he returned to the front. He was involved in an accident in the kitchen of his camp on 1st February 1917 in which he was extensively burnt and died as a result of his injuries at 48th Casualty Clearing Station. He was buried in Bray Military Cemetery.
His wife Agnes received the news that her husband had died in an unexplained accident on 1st February 1917. These letters passed on the news: From his commanding officer, Major Rosblugh: “I have the very painful duty to give you bad news about your poor husband, Driver Kirk of my Company. He got very badly burnt, and although he bore up most bravely, he passed away in the hospital on February 1 [1917]. He has been buried in the Hospital Cemetery, and a cross is being put up on his grave. A very large number of men and officers attended his funeral. The poor fellow was most popular in the Company and a most excellent and willing man. No-one saw how the accident occurred. He was in the kitchen in our camp, and no-one saw him until he was in flames. He was at once taken to the hospital, and everything possible was done for him by the doctors and nurses. I am holding a Court of Inquiry in order to find out as much as possible about the matter, but I fear nothing more will be discovered. I take the opportunity of conveying to you the heartfelt sympathy of all ranks – Major Rosblugh.” From his friend, Pte. James Bates: “It is with great sympathy I pencil these few lines to you and my heart is very heavy at your great loss. Ernest was my best friend; in fact, we were more like brothers. All the Company saw him buried like a true British soldier, and there was not a dry eye among the lads. My heart goes out to you in your great bereavement, and also to your little ones at the loss of a father and bread-winner – James Bates.” From the Chaplain, J. Parker: “You will have received the sad news of your dear husband’s death. I buried him in a quiet little cemetery near here, and a number of his comrades were present at his funeral. May God help you to bear this great grief and comfort you. I really think he took him away in merciful kindness. Would that I could say something to comfort you but in a grief like yours, mere words seem useless. Real comfort only comes from above, but, believe me, you have my truest sympathy, as have all the brave women of England, who at this time are called upon to sacrifice so much. You must try and be brave J. Parker, Chaplain.” Above extracts are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Inscription on family headstone, Hucknall Cemetery: 'In loving memory of William Kirk who died Dec 4th 1881 aged 41 years. Also Hannah wife of the above who died Dec 3rd 1936 aged 75 years. Also Ernest son of the above who died in France Feb 1st 1917 aged 37 (sic) years. Peace perfect peace.'
Remembered on

Photos

  • Remembered on Family gravestone in Hucknall Cemetery.
Photo by Murray Biddle
    Ernest Kirk - Remembered on Family gravestone in Hucknall Cemetery. Photo by Murray Biddle
  • Buried in Bray Military Cemetery
    Ernest Kirk - Buried in Bray Military Cemetery
  • Photograph was posted in the Nottingham Evening Post, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Ernest Kirk - Photograph was posted in the Nottingham Evening Post, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918