Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.
Ernest was the son of William Merrick, a farm labourer, and his wife Martha. William and Martha moved frequently, living at various times in Rugeley, Penkridge, Wolverhampton, Trysull, Bickford and Shallowford. The censuses of 1901 and 1911 record Ernest's place of birth as Wolverhampton but I have been unable to find any record of his birth there.
In 1901 the family were living at Bickford, at the edge of the Parish of Lapley. Although they moved several times after this they were living back in Bickford at the time of Ernest's death in November 1916.
When Ernest joined up in October 1915, he gave his address as 'The Tea Gardens, Trysull' and his occupation as 'Iron Labourer'. He appears to have 'advanced' his age, so it is possible that this address and occupation information is part of a false identity.
Ernest served with the Machine Gun Corps. He was sent to France on 18th March, 1916 and posted to the 57th Company of the MGC (which was part of 19th Division). Ernest was killed in action on 18th November, during the Battle of the Ancre (the last major British attack of the Somme Campaign). He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Private Ernest Merrick, 26809 (previously 25076, Worcs. Regt.) was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. He is commemorated on the War Memorial at Lapley Church, Staffordshire.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg.