All text and images © Helvellyn Consulting 2018
Private Ernest Chugg
DM2/166086 Driver, Mechanical Transport, Army Service Corps
Born Oct 1887, High Rake Glenridding. Died 23rd Sept 1946 aged 58
Son of William and Isabella (nee Nelson) Chugg, High Rake and Stybarrow Terrace, Glenridding
Husband of Sarah Annie Balmer
Brother of John Chugg and Brother-
A photo of the children at Patterdale School in 1889, kindly given to us by the family of Dawson Bowman, which almost certainly includes Ernest’s half-
Ernest’s parents William and Isabella (see family tree photo below) -
The Ullswater Rovers Football Team in 1914. Ernest’s brother John is in the third row holding the flag in the suit, next their brother in law Alfred Coward, whose brother Ike is also in the team. The other team members are named on our Ullswater Football Team page.
Ernest Chugg was born in October 1887 in Glenridding. His father William was a miner at Greenside Mine and the family was living at High Rake Cottages on the Greenside Road. William had been born in Coombe Martin in Devon, like many of the Greenside Miners, including John Lake, father of Ernest Lake. William had married Mary Ann Cutcliff in 1871 in Coombe Martin. They had two children, William Richard (in 1879) and Florence (1881). However on the 10th May 1882 Mary Ann died, aged just 26. Soon afterwards William moved with his two young children to Glenridding to work at Greenside.
On the 13th June 1885 he married for a second time to Isabella Nelson, who father also worked at Greenside and who lived at Low Rake. The family moved into the new miners cottages which had been built at High Rake, just above where Isabella’s parents lived. There they had two more children, John, in 1886, and Ernest in 1887, followed by Annie (1889), Agnes (1890), Nellie (1892), George (1894), and Ada (1895). Sadly both George and Ada died in infancy. Both William and Florence would have attended Patterdale School when they moved to the area and given their ages both are likely to the be featured on the 1889 School Photo shown below. Tragically young Florence died in January 1893 aged just 12 in Glenridding.
By 1901 William was still working at Greenside as a blacksmith, and had been joined by his eldest son William. On 29th January 1904 William junior married Jane Eleanor Walton (sister of Thomas and Amos Walton) from the Glenridding Post Office. In 1908 they had a daughter Florence, presumably named after William’s younger sister.
After attending Patterdale school with the likes of Jim Bowman and John Graham, Ernest decided not to work at the mine and moved to Penrith, where in 1911 he was employed as a Drapers Assistant, and living at 14 Sandgate Street.
We’re not sure exactly when Ernest joined the army although we know from his Service Number that he joined as a driver in the mechanical transport section of the Army Service Corps. His type of service number was discontinued in November 1916 so he must have joined up before then and is likely to have seen service in France, possibly alongside many of his friends from the Dale who also served in the regiment such as William Abbot. We have been told by the grand-
After the war Ernest returned to Glenridding, and in 1920 he was living at Stybarrow Terrace with his parents William and Isabella. Isabella died in October 1923 aged 65 and William in April 1925 aged 69. They were buried together in Patterdale Churchyard. Later that year Ernest was living on his own in his parents old house at Stybarrow Terrace, but by 1930 he had left the Dale. In March 1935 he married Sarah Annie Balmer and they settled in village of Maulds Meaburn. It was here that Ernest died, on the 23rd September 1946 at the age of 58. We think Sarah Annie continued to live there until her death in December 1979 at the age of 82.
In terms of the rest of Ernest’s family we know that his half-
Ernest’s sister Annie married a miner, Bertram Ernest Jones, brother of Percy Jones, on the 15th September 1919. They had a daughter, Edna, who sadly died in infancy, and another daughter Ethel. Annie died in 1955 aged 66, living at 4 Low Rake, where her mother Isabella had grown up. Ethel’s granddaughter Pat has kindly been in touch with us after hearing about the site. She told us:
According to my mother (Ethel), Ernest lived with her and her mother (Annie) for some time in various locations round Ullswater after the war as my Grandfather and mother were left behind while her husband Bertram Ernest Jones and half brother William Cross were seeking their fortunes overseas. They never were successful!
Ernest’s youngest sister Nellie married Sergeant John William Hicks, who had won a Military Medal in the First World War. They ended up living at 4 Low Rake, Nellie’s mothers old house, until their deaths. Nellie died in June 1960 aged 67. John’s granddaughter still lives in the Dale.
If you can add to the story of Ernest and his family please contact us.