Ernest Henry Parsons came from Sussex and married a local woman at Chelmsford Cathedral in August 1917. By then he was serving in the army, and in December of that year he was killed in action in France after less than five months of marriage. His widow lived in Springfield Road.

Ernest was born at Clayton, Sussex in 1892, the eldest child of Thomas William Parsons and Sarah Ann Parsons (nee Russell). His father had been born in 1862 in Barcombe, Sussex; his mother in 1867 in Ditchling, Sussex. They had married at Clayton on 24th October 1891.

Ernest’s two siblings were twins William George Parsons and Ellen Mary Parsons (born in 1894 at Clayton).

The 1901 census found eight year-old Ernest living with his parents, two siblings and a boarder at Clayton Wood Cottage in Clayton. His father was a corn merchant store keeper. A decade later the 1911 census recorded him, aged 18, living with his parents and two siblings at Clayton Street, Hassocks in Sussex. He was a domestic gardener; his father was a groom and domestic gardener; his brother was a house and domestic boy; while his sister was a domestic daily servant.

Ernest lived at Hassocks, Sussex, and enlisted into the army in London.

Aged 24, he married Ada Blanks at Chelmsford Cathedral on 27th August 1917. At the time he was described as a Lance-Corporal in the 6th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, living at Hurstpierpoint in Sussex. His father was a labourer. Ernest’s Widford-born bride was aged 25, the daughter of William Quinn Blanks, a gardener, and lived at Guy Harlings, New Street., Chelmsford.


Lance Corporal, 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers

Ernest was killed in action on 15th December 1917 while serving as Lance Corporal 24772 in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. The battalion was part of the regular army and attached to 9th Brigade in the 3rd Division. He is buried at Mory Abbey Military Cemetery, Mory, between Arras and Bapaume in Pas de Calais, France (grave: II. F. 8).

On 4th January 1918 the Essex County Chronicle reported:

“L-Cpl. Ernest Henry Parsons, Royal Fusiliers, killed in action in France on the 15th of Dec. aged 25 years, married, only in August last, at St. Mary’s Cathedral Church, Chelmsford, Miss Ada Blanks, of 119 Springfield Road, Chelmsford. The widow is in the service of the Rev. Canon and Miss Lake at Guy Harlings. The deceased’s captain writes that he was a very brave soldier, and before his death had volunteered to hold a dangerous post.”

119 Springfield Road was later given a new number of 293.

Ernest is commemorated on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford and the village war memorial at Clayton in Sussex. He was entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

His mother died in Sussex in 1937.His father died six years later.