We Have Our Lives

Ernest Prescott
  • Born Bedminster, 1st January 1883
  • Died Rouen, France, 26th February 1918
  • Age34
  • RankSecond Lieutenant
  • RegimentRoyal Field Artillery
  • Unit34th Battery

Ernest Prescott

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Ernest Twiss Prescott was the oldest son of Peter and Hannah Prescott. Peter was a Methodist minister, active in the churches at Wadley’s End and Winterbourne Down, north of Bristol, but he died when Ernest was in his twenties. Ernest went to Colston's School, where he was a keen lacrosse player, and was in the same year as future British international rugby winger Jack Spoors. After Peter's death the family moved to Waverley Road in Redland, and Ernest shared the house with nine others. Along with Ernest’s mother Hannah, there was his older sister Mary, who was a schoolteacher, and his younger brother Walter, a chauffeur. Ernest’s younger sister Lucilla married William, an engineer, in 1908, and they both shared the house too. Beside that there were three young nieces of Hannah, and a young dental student lodging in the house.

Ernest himself worked as a Commercial Clerk for Imperial Tobacco. This means he would have handled the written work of the company, from letter-writing and document copying to producing invoices. The tobacco trade was one of the biggest contributors to Bristol’s wealth at this time, spearheading the economy of the port and funding landmarks like the Wills Building and Pero’s Bridge. Imperial Tobacco, now the world’s second largest tobacco company, are headquartered here to this day.

Ernest died on the 26th of February 1916 in hospital in Rouen, from wounds received while serving in France with the 34th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. Ernest was buried at Saint Sever, Rouen’s city cemetery, the final resting place of over 10,000 commonwealth soldiers who died in the many hospitals based in Rouen over both world wars. Ernest left a wife, Elise, who lived in Woolacombe after his death.