Sapper 143703 Ernest William Lester

Lester Ernest 96 390x600

Killed in Action on Friday, 12th April 1918, age 23.
Buried in Grave IV. E. 32. at Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Royal Engineers, 141st A.T. Company.

Son of Charles William Lester, of Dudley Port, Tipton; husband of Mabel Elsie Lester, of 23, Moor Lane, Brierley Hill, Staffs.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Lichfield, 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.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2936321/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Ernest William Lester registered June quarter 1894 in Dudley.

1901 Census
167 Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Lester (39, Labourer at Iron Works, born West Bromwich), his wife Mary A. (38, born Oldbury), and their 6 children: Joseph (19, Bridge & Girder Plater, born Tipton), Thomas (17, Springer at Tube Works, born Tipton), Ernest (15, Labourer at Tube Works, born Tipton), Maud (12, born Tipton), Ethel (6, born Tipton), and Howard (2, born Tipton).

1911 Census
3 Bridge Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Lester (52, Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Mary Ann (51, born Tipton), and 2 of their 6 surviving children of 8: Ernest (25, Labourer, born Tipton), and Howard (12, born Tipton).

Marriage of Ernest W. Lester and Mabel E. Oliver registered September quarter 1915 in Stourbridge. The birth of their son, Norman O. Lester, was registered in December quarter 1915 in Dudley.

Personal Data

After Ernest's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/5/5d (4 pounds, 5 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his widow, Mabel E., in July 1918. His War Gratuity was £10/10/0d (10 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to Mabel in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Ernest had enlisted in February 1916.

Action resulting in his death

The 141st Army Troops Company were a unit of Royal Engineers, held at Army level, providing heavy equipment and performing tasks that were beyond the capability of the Divisional Field Companies. They normally undertook more technical tasks such as building water-piping systems or the heavier type of bridges.

As the 141st A.T. Company were controlled at an 'Army' level, they were allocated tasks over a wider area as they were needed. It is therefore difficult to identify the area in which Sapper Lester was working when he was wounded. He is buried in Duhallow Advanced Dressing Station, which is about a mile to the north of Ypres, on the west bank of the Ypres canal.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald May 4th 1918
Mr and Mrs Lester (father and mother) of the Co-operative Stores, Dudley Port, and Mrs Elsie Lester (wife) wish to return thanks for the sympathy expressed on the death of Private Ernest Lester, R.E., who has been killed in action.