Born on 18th May 1885, in Hackney, to parents John James and Emma Jane, they were living at 51 Fanshaw Street, Shoreditch when he was baptised on 12 June 1885, his father was employed as a plumber. In 1891 he was living in Islington with his widowed mother, who was a laundress, with sisters Florence and Emma and brothers Walter and James. In 1901 he was living at 121 Shepperton Road, Islington, with an Aunt and Uncle along with his siblings. By 1911 Ernest had married Ada and was living at 137 Richmond Road, Hackney, with their daughter, Winifred Marion, he was employed as a commercial traveller. At the time of his death his wife was living at 98 Duncombe Road, Bengeo.