My great-uncle was just 10 when he saved my nan from the arms of their dead mum
My great-uncle Ernest was just 10 years old when he saved my nan as she lay in her dead mother’s arms.
The words on the Daily
Mirror front page read: “A deed of splendid heroism was performed by a boy during the progress of Saturday’s air raid. Mrs Hall and her six children were seated in the lower back room when a bomb fell in the garden, killing Mrs
Hall and one of her sons.
“Ernest, the eldest boy, with great presence of mind, rescued the baby uninjured from its dead mother.
“No other children were injured, and the front of the house was not damaged. The husband is at present serving in France.”
Mrs Hall was my great-gran, 32-year-old Mabel, and the sevenmonth-old baby in her arms was my nan, Elizabeth, who was known as Babs – because she always remained the baby of the family. My great-grandfather, also named Ernest, only found out about the death of his wife and six-year-old son Percy, who was killed instantly, when he saw the Mirror while on duty in France. We believe he came home on compassionate leave, but was killed in action less than a year later aged 33, on August 8, 1918, leaving five children orphaned, including my grandmother.
The thing that has always struck me
TRIED TO ATONE Christopher shot cruel officer. His Bible, inset WOUNDED Corporal Gunner Ernest King David Middleton, 62, from Chesterfield, reveals the deathbed secret which plagued grandfather Christopher all his life. Michael King, 79, of Woodbridge, Suffolk, says his dad Ernest James King had a war souvenir with him all his life – shrapnel in his head. BROOD Mum Mabel with Babs. Back row from left, Walter, Edie and Ernest. Front, Percy, seated, who also died, and Mabel SELFLESS Auntie with the orphans. From left, hero Ernest, Walter, Mabel and Edie. Babs in Auntie’s arms. Right, Daily Mirror Simon Dale, 47, from East London, shares the heartbreaking story of his great-grandparents, who made the front page of the Daily Mirror on October 1, 1917. SAVED Nan Babs in 1976, top, and Simon