Ernest Gregory (1894–1918)


Royal Scots Fusiliers 201342 1/5th Battalion

Photo courtesy Beatrice Phillips

Ernest Gregory in WW1


Ernest was born in Matlock in 1894 and worked as a cab driver. His brother Ezra was also killed in the war, and is on the Matlock Roll of Honour.

In a Derbyshire Times newspaper report dated 16 June 1917, reporting his brother Ezra's death, it stated that Ernest was with the Transport Section in Ireland. It also noted that there were five Gregory brothers who were with the Colours: Ezra (South Staffs), Joseph Thomas (Terench Mortar Battery), Ernest (Transport Section) , William (South Staffs) and Charles Wilfred (Territorial Reserve).

Ernest was killed on 1st October 1918 and is buried at Anneux British Cemetery.

Ernest Gregory married Beatrice Murden in the March quarter of 1915 in the Belper reigistration district and lived at Crich Carr. They had two daughters: Doris (b.1915) and Connie (b.1916).

Ernest Gregory and family in 1917

Ernest with wife Beatrice and daughters Doris and Connie taken in 1917

On a seat at Coddington overlooking the valley towards Holloway (one of the most beautiful views in England) is this plaque –

Photo courtesy Peter Patilla

Plaque on a seat to John Gough

The J.G. is believed to be John Gough, the E.G. is believed to be Ernest Gregory both of whom areon the Roll of Honour.

Newspaper Report

Belper News 15 June 1934
The funeral took place on Saturday, at Crich Parish Churchyard, of Mrs Beatrice Gregory (40) of Crich Carr, widow of Mr Ernest Gregory who was killed in the war.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Name Gregory
Initials E
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Private
Regiment/Service Royal ScotsFusiliers
Unit 1st/5th Bn
Date of Death 01/10/18
Service No 201342
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference IV.D.33

War graves certificate for Ernest Gregory in WW1

Soldiers' Effects Book
Ernest Gregory; 1/5th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers; Private 201342; killed in action France 1.10.18; War Gratuity £14; paid out to:
3.4.19 widow Beatrice£10 18s 11d
6.5.19 widow Beatrice £21 17s 8d for children

Crich Front Lines memorial event
The following song by Martyn Offord was sung, to the tune "The Trees they Grow so High", at the November 2014 Crich Front Lines memorial event in the Glebe Field Centre in honour of John Gough and Ernest Gregory. The words imagins John and Ernest dreaming of this view in their last terrible moments from the seat bearing their initials overlooking the wonderful view from Coddington.

From the bench at Coddington

They sat upon a wooden bench and viewed the scene all round,
The sun was sat upon the hills and the mist upon the ground,
Blue shadows spread along the scarp where the woods were still and brown,
            And the two sat side by side remembering.

John Gough he watched the sheep below, his eyes were glazed and wide;
In the dressing camp of the Seventh Corps I lay and quietly cried,
Cried for this place as I drifted off that night in May I died.
            And the two sat side by side remembering.

On the Bocquoy Road there were no dales, no lambs, no cottage fires,
Just stumps of trees like splintered teeth, craters and tangled wires,
A churned up plain of endless mud stretched to Arras’s ruined spires,
            And the two sat side by side remembering.

There’s a canal as well where I was killed, Ernest Gregory softly said
Where our heavy guns pounded the Huns until they up and fled
And the Ozzies charged through rain and fog and the waters ran blood red
            And the two sat side by side remembering.

The victory ours by Bellenglise through shell holes, slime and rain,
Down muddy slopes through sap and lane we had him on the run,
But we went too far, our flank exposed, and ran into his guns
            And the two sat side by side remembering.

They sat upon the wooden bench and the trees were all in bud,
This was the scene they dreamed about as their eyes filled up with blood,
Blue shadows spread along the scarp where they lay face down in the mud
            And the two sat side by side remembering


1901: Matlock Bank

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Ezra Gregory Head 43 Cab driver Sheffield
Charlotte Gregory wife 45   Bonsall
Mary L Gregory daughter 19   Darley
Ezra Gregory son 15   Darley
Annie Gregory daughter 13   Darley
Willie Gregory son 11   Darley
Tom Gregory son 9   Matlock
Ernest Gregory son 6   Matlock
Charles Gregory son 2   Matlock

RG13 piece 3266 folio 100 page 35

1911: Limetree Road, Matlock

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Ezra Gregory Head 53 General labourer Sheffield
Charlotte Gregory wife 55   Matlock
Ezra Gregory son 25 General labourer Darley
Annie Gregory daughter 23 General servant domestic Darley
William Gregory son 21 Shoeing Smith Darley
Thomas Gregory son 19 Mill Hand Darley
Ernest Gregory son 16 Cab driver Matlock
Charles Gregory son 12 School Matlock

RG14PN21208 RG78PN1262 RD439 SD2 ED10 SN13

1918 Crich voters
Ernest Gregory, Crich Carr; absent on military service.