Ernest Rouse’s family were from Grantham in Lincolnshire, where he was born in 1885.
By 1901 the family were living in Doncaster where father Samuel was a railway carriage worker at the G.N.R Plant. At age 16 Ernest was also working at the Plant as an apprentice railway wagon builder at the Carr Wagon Shop.
He later moved to the Crimpsall Shop where he worked alongside pals Charles Torr, Samuel Donald Adam and Bernard Collin Watson. They all enlisted together when war broke out, joining the 6th K.O.Y.L.I. They stayed together through training and went to France in 1915. On the 29th June while they were taking up food to the infantry on the front line they were all killed when a shell exploded at the top of their communication trench.
Lieutenant Leatham, the commanding officer of Ernest’s platoon, wrote to his parents to tell them the news. He said ” I am awfully sorry to lose him and cannot speak too highly of his most exemplary conduct since the time he came under my command last August…. his death must have been absolutely instantaneous…. he was buried the same night near the trench he fell in.”
Ernest was 30 when he died, and single. Ironically he had written to his parents on the 27th June to say he was “still living and going on alright.”