18354 Private Ernest Jackson Highley


Devonshire Regiment

1st July 1916 

Born in Walsden Lancashire in 1879. He was baptised on 26/10/1879.

His parents were John Highley(1853-1935) and

Mary Ann Bray Wills(1852-1941). They married in 1874.

Ernest had 4 brothers; Thomas Arthur(18/02/1875-13/01/1952), John Henry(1877-01/11/1914),

Charles William(1889- 22/06/1917) and

Richard(born in 1894). 

He also had 2 sisters; Mary Hannah(born in 1885) and Beatrice Annie(born in 1896).

In the 1881 Census,the family are recorded as living at Throstle Terrace,Todmorden Road,Walsden,Lancashire.

John was employed as a cotton weaver.

In the 1891 census the family are are at

55 Throstle Terrace,John is still a cotton weaver and

Ernest is employed as a cotton mill hand.   

In the 1901 census, the family had moved to

16 Throstle Terrace ,with John still being a cotton weaver and Ernest now a cotton mill labourer. 

In 1907 Ernest married Harriet Ann Hallawell

(13/11/1881-1974) and they had 2 girls,

Florence (born in 1908) and Edith (born in 1909).

In the 1911 census,Ernest and his family are recorded as now living at 395 Edenfield Road,Rochdale,Lancashire. Ernest is now employed as a cotton weaver. 

He enlisted in Halifax and his date of disembarkation into France was on 15/12/1915.

He was killed in action on 01/07/1916.

He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star,the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.


Ernest' brothers also fought in the war;

8012 Private John Henry Highley 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment- died of his wounds that he received in action on 01/11/1914 at Romarin 107 Field Ambulance and is buried in Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, Nord France.

Memorial reference II.I.36.

27557 Private Charles William Highley 15th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers- was killed in action on 22/06/1917

and was buried in Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery,Nieuwpoort,Belgium. Memorial reference IV.A.11.

16076 Private Richard Highley 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment- served in France from 28/07/1915 until his transfer to 'Z' Reserve Battalion on 12/03/1919. 

284171 Aircraftsman Thomas Arthur Highley-enlisted in RAF on 13/08/1918 until his discharge on 30/04/1920 after being transferred to the RAF reserve on 26/02/1919.

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