Private 34555 Ernest John Wilfred Bourne

 Bourne Ernest John 96 436x600

Died France & Flanders on Saturday, 5th May 1917, age 32.
Buried in Grave IV. B. 74. at Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

3rd Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 7th Brigade of 25th Division.

Husband of Agnes Gertrude Hall (formerly Bourne), of 128, Toll End Rd., Ocker Hill, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Oldbury, Enlisted: Stourbridge, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Mark's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/19522/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Ernest John W Bourne registered September quarter 1883 at West Bromwich.

1901 Census (believed to be)
64 Tat Bank Road, Oldbury, Worcs.
William Bourne (42, Chemical Works Labourer, born Bromsgrove), his wife Harriett (43, born Redditch), and their 5 children: Ernest (17, Iron Nut Cutter, born Oldbury), Elizabeth (16, Iron Nut Worker, born Oldbury), William (13, Errand Boy, born Oldbury), Kate (12, born Oldbury), and Ellen (7, born Oldbury).

1911 Census (believed to be)
7 Highbury Road, West Smethwick, Worcs.
William Bourne (53, Widower, General Labourer, born Bromsgrove), and 3 of his 6 children: Ernest (27, General Labourer at Chemical Works, born Oldbury), Ellen Alice (17, Factory Hand - Screw Cutter, born Oldbury), and his married daughter Kate Jones (22, born Oldbury) with her husband and child.

Marriage of Ernest J W Bourne and Agnes G Wilkes registered December quarter 1912 at West Bromwich. A daughter, Eileen M. Bourne, was born in June quarter 1914 and registered in Dudley.

Personal Data

Incorrectly commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial as EGW Bourne, this was an error in the 'Staffordshire Roll of Honour'.

After Ernest's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/0/1d (4 pounds and 1 penny); this was paid to his widow, Agnes Gertrude, in August 1917. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in December 1919. By this stage she was Mrs Agnes Hall, having married Charles E. Hall in December quarter 1918. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Ernest had enlisted in within the 12 months prior to his death.

Action resulting in his death

"Soldiers Died in the Great War" records that Ernest "Died" rather than "Died of Wounds". This generally means the man died from non-battle causes, for example sickness or accidental injuries.

From Stacke's "Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War"
"3rd Worcesters marched on May 4th from Strazeele to Ebblinghem and thence on the 5th to Etrehem (Etreghem)".

Ernest is buried in Longuenesse Cemetery which about 2 miles from Etrehem. This suggests that whatever incident caused his death occurred in the Etrehem area around the 2 days of the march from Strazeele. The 3rd Worcesters War Diary for the 4th May says 'conditions on the march very trying'. It is possible that Ernest's death was due to these exertions, or due to an accident during the march.

Newspaper Cuttings