Ernest Arthur Sharpe

Private, 2745 then 240745, 2/5th and 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment

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Ernest Sharpe is one of the men on the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 Servicemen.

Family background

Ernest Sharpe was born on the 22nd February, 1880, at Eastwell, Leicestershire. His parents were George Sharpe, born in 1848 in Great Dalby, and Sarah Sharpe, born in 1852 in Stathern. In 1891, they lived on Main Street, Stathern, with children Elizabeth (19), Ernest (11), Frederick (6), Gertrude (3) and Alma (one month). George worked as a platelayer for the Great Northern Railway, Elizabeth worked as a lace clipper, Ernest attended the village school.

Ernest had left home by 1900, when he is known to have lived at Colwick Sidings, Nottingham, close to the railway line. In 1901, he was lodging at the home of Mary Kellam in Waltham on the Wolds, working as a porter for the Great Northern Railway. In April of that year, he married Elizabeth Ann Freestone, who was born in Scalford in 1883.

Ernest became a member of the Amalgamated Union of Railway Servants, Bottesford Branch, in 1907. By1911, Ernest and Elizabeth Sharpe were living in Market Street, Bottesford, with their three children, Ernest Sharpe Freestone (10), Norman Cecil Sharpe (8) and Florence Lilian Sharpe (6). He was still employed as a railway porter, presumably at Bottesford station.

Military service

Ernest Sharpe served as a Private in the Leicestershire Regiment. He was 2745 2/5th Battalion, then 240745 with the 1/5th Battalion. These were Territorial battalions. The 2/5th was stationed in Ireland in 1916, in Dublin then in Kerry and Fermoy. It landed in France in January 1917, as part of the Lincoln and Leicester Brigade, and took part in actions including the Hindenburg Line, Polygon Wood, Cambrai. The 1/5th arrived at Le Havre in February 1915 as part of the 138th Brigade, 46th (North Midlands) Division, and took part in the 2nd Battle of Ypres and many actions on the Western Front through the remainder of the war, apart from its brief transfer to Alexandria in January 1916, which was quickly countermanded. It would be good to know when Private Sharpe was transferred from one battalion to the other. He was awarded the British Medal and the Victory Medal.

After the end of the war

In 1939, Ernest and Elizabeth lived at 146 Chandos Street, Carlton, Nottingham. He was working as a railway goods guard.

Ernest Sharpe died at East Retford in March, 1969, aged 89.

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