Private M/225216 Ernest Royle

Royle Ernest 96 428x600

Died Home on Wednesday, 7th March 1917, age 23.
Buried in Grave C. CE. 1178. at Manchester Southern Cemetery, Manchester, Lancashire.

Army Service Corps, 1st Reserve M.T. Depot (Park Royal).

Husband of Mrs Edith Mary Royle, of 34 Lewis Street, Great Bridge, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Manchester, Enlisted: Grove Park, London, Resident: Manchester.

Never served abroad.
Medal entitlement: No medal entitlement.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/372203/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Ernest Royle registered March quarter 1894 in Manchester.

1901 Census
29 Grove Street, Didsbury, Manchester.
Thomas Royle (35, Blacksmith, born Didsbury), his wife Alice (32, born Manchester), and their 5 children: Ernest (7, born Didsbury), Lizzie (6, born Didsbury), Amy (5, born Didsbury), Edgar (2, born Didsbury) and Frank (1, born Didsbury). Also Thomas’s widowed father – Herbert Royle (76, Retired Gardener, born Flixton, Manchester).

1911 Census
29 Grove Street, Didsbury, Manchester.
Thomas Royle (46, Blacksmith, born Didsbury), his wife Alice (43, born Blackley, nr Manchester), and 6 of their 7 children: Ernest (17, Blacksmith, born Didsbury, Amy (14, born Didsbury), Edgar (12, born Didsbury), Frank (11, born Didsbury), Tom (9, born Didsbury) and Edward (2, born Didsbury).

Marriage of Ernest Royle and Edith Mary Turner registered March quarter 1916 in Chorlton, Manchester. They were married in Emmanuel Church, Didsbury on 29th March 1916.

Death of Ernest Royle, age 23, registered March quarter 1917 in Woolwich.

Birth of Edith Mary Royle (mother nee Turner) registered June quarter 1917 in Dudley. Ernest and Edith's daughter, Edith was born on 8th June 1917, sadly 3 months after the death of her father.

Personal Data

Ernest Royle appears on the Tipton Library Memorial, but it is questionable if he ever visited Tipton, almost certainly he never lived there. Ernest was born, bred, married and is buried in Manchester, around Didsbury in south Manchester. It is likely that he appears on the Tipton Library Memorial because his wife, Edith May (nee Turner) was from Tipton and returned back to Tipton on his death, just in time to give birth to Ernest’s daughter, also Edith May, in June 1917.

In 1901, Edith May Turner was living with her parents, Edward and Susannah, and brothers Thomas and Frank, at 5 House 1 Court, Lower Church Lane, Tipton. By 1911, Edward Turner was a widower, and living at 2 House 2 Court, Sheepwash Lane, Tipton, with his sons Thomas and Frank, but not Edith. No trace can be found of Edith, who by that time was 18 years of age.

It is possible that Edith moved to Manchester to work, domestic service was a common occupation, and there met Ernest. They married in Emmanuel Church, Didsbury on 29th March 1916, rather than the more usual approach of marrying in the bride’s home parish.

Ernest enlisted as Private 225216 in the Army Service Corps (Motor Transport) on 20th December 1916 at Ashton-under-Lyme. His Soldier’s Papers say the he was ‘deemed to have enlisted’ on 2nd March 1916 which suggests that he attested under the Derby Scheme.

Ernest was 23 years of age, 5 feet 8½ inches tall with a 36½-inch chest, weighed 133 pounds and his physical development was described as ‘Good’. His occupation was noted as Blacksmith, and his address was 81 Stockport Road, Denton, Manchester.

Ernest was posted to the ASC No. 1 Reserve Motor Transport Depot at Grove Park in south London. On Christmas Day 1916 he undertook a Certificate of Trade Competency, being graded as a ‘Learner Blacksmith’; this must have been an Army grading as he had been employed as a Blacksmith. The only other note on his Service Papers is that he was employed on ‘General Duties’ between 8th and 15th January 1917 at Mottingham Centre, which is just a mile from Grove Park in south London.

Ernest died on 7th March 1917 at the Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich from Bronchitis and Broncho Pneumonia, he was aged 23 years and 3 months. The Royal Herbert was a large military hospital, built in the 1860s and in use until the 1970s. Ernest’s body was transported back to Manchester and he was buried in Manchester Southern Cemetery, in the CWGC area but thoughtfully just in front of his grandparents’ gravestone.

After Ernest’s death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/6/3d (2 pounds, 6 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his widow, Edith, in June 1917. He was not eligible for a War Gratuity as he had not completed 6 months of service.

Each week Edith had been receiving a Separation Allowance of 9/0d (9 shillings), plus an Allotment of 3/6d (3 shillings and 6 pence) from Ernest’s pay. This ended on 10th September 1917 when she was awarded a pension of 18/9d (18 shillings and 9 pence) per week for herself and her daughter. Additionally, she was awarded a grant of £5 on 18th March 1918. This detail is recorded on Ernest’s Pension Card, and gives Edith’s address as 34 Lewis Street, Great Bridge, Tipton. It was this clue which allowed Ernest to be identified as the E. Royle on the Tipton Library Memorial.

Action resulting in his death

Ernest died within 4 months of joining the Army Service Corps, he had never served abroad. The circumstances of his death are shown above.

Newspaper Cuttings

Manchester Evening News, Tuesday 13th March 1917
ROYLE. On the 8th March, at the Royal Herbert Hospital, Kidbrooke, Woolwich. Private ERNEST ROYLE, A.S.C.M.T., beloved husband of May Royle, eldest and beloved son of Thomas and Alice Royle, of Grove Street, Didsbury, aged 23 years. Service at Emmanuel Church, at 2 o’clock, prior to interment at the Southern Cemetery, at 3 o’clock, tomorrow (Wednesday), not Tuesday as previously stated.
Inquiries to William Peacock, Wilmslow Road.

Manchester Evening News, Saturday 17th March 1917
Mrs ERNEST ROYLE and Mr and Mrs T. ROYLE and Family wish to thank all relatives, friends and neighbours for their kind letters of sympathy and floral tributes in the loss of their dear son, Ernest.
29 Grove Street, Didsbury.