Ernest Robert Mungham was my first cousin, four times removed. He and I are both descended from Thomas Mungham and Elizabeth Sarah Wood who were my 4th great grandparents and his grandparents. I wrote more about Thomas and Elizabeth in the post about Herbert George Hewlett, who was Ernest’s second cousin. Where I am descended from Thomas and Elizabeth’s son Henry, and Herbert was descended from their first son, William, Ernest was the son of their son Alfred, born in 1845 in Milton, Kent.
As early as the age of 16, Alfred is listed in the census records as a labourer, later detailed in the 1871 census as a “brickfield moulder.” He married Elizabeth Maria Fagg in 1867 at the age of 22. They went on to have eight children. Ernest, their 6th, was born in 1879. Ernest followed in his father’s footsteps and was also a brickfield labourer. He married Ada Louisa Wood in 1905 when he was 26, and they had three children between 1905 and 1911. When war broke out in 1914, 35-year old Ernest was supporting his wife, two daughters, ages 9 and 6, and son, age 3.
Ernest’s service record is one of the many burnt records, so I do not have a precise timeline of when he attested and where he served. From the honour roll and medal records, we can tell that he served with the Prince of Wales’ Leinster Regiment, with the 7th and 2nd battalions. The 7th battalion was raised in October 1914, and it is likely that this is the unit to which Ernest volunteered. This battalion was in France from December of 1915 until it was disbanded and troops were dispersed to various battalions. Ernest was reassigned to the 2nd battalion, and was eventually discharged in August of 1918 as physically unfit. Again, due to his record not being available, I do not know why he was considered unfit.
Sadly, just a month after his discharge, Ernest’s second daughter, Winnifred Florence, died at the age of 10. Four years later, Ernest and Ada lost another daughter, Joan, at or just after birth.
Ernest lived the rest of his days in Kent, passing away in 1949 at the age of 70.