A new war grave headstone is to be placed in the graveyard of St Michael’s East Ardsley after the discovery of the identity of an army private who had been buried in a public grave.
Vicar, the Revd Glenn Coggins, says, “Through the work of Morley Historical Society we found that Private Ernest Gould was buried in the churchyard in 1917 in a public grave after being gassed in the Battle of the Somme.
"It’s rather sad that individuals who were buried in public graves didn’t have their names entered into the index of the burial registers, as if they were a nobody, so it’s been lovely to confirm Ernest Gould’s final resting place.
"The Ministry of Defence and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have agreed that he is entitled to a military headstone as he was a casualty of the war. So we hope to hold a service to remember him when the headstone is placed in early 2017. And on Remembrance Sunday his name will now be read out along with the others who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
The life of Ernest Gould
Ernest Gould enlisted voluntarily in Dewsbury in 1914. A coal miner, he was 5ft 6in tall, weighed 8 stone and lodged in Hightown. He served in France for 16 months when he was gassed in the Battle of the Somme and developed tuberculosis. He was discharged due to ill health from the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry on 12 October 1916. He died 7 months later (14 May 1917) in Carr Gate TB hospital (on the outskirts of East Ardsley). It is thought that his landlady put his name forward for inclusion on the Spenborough War Memorial as there is no local record relating to his death or relatives.
Pictured is the new seat in the parish to commemorate World War 1 (The Green Church Lane)