Serjeant 5626, 20th Royal Fusiliers.
Killed in action 20th July 1916, age approx. 41.
Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.
Former student of chemistry.
Ernest was born in 1875 at Middleton to J. H. Shorrocks. He was educated at Hulme Grammar School (1887-1892) and entered Manchester University in 1893 with a County Council Scholarship to study chemistry. He obtained a First Class Honours in 1896 and in 1900 an MSc. In 1896 he took up a post as assistant science master at Hulme Grammar School, moved to St James Grammar School in Knaresbourough a year later and then to Queens College as a science master where he remained for 10 years before undertaking further study at London University after which he became a science master at Taunton Grammar School.
Ernest was a keen sportsman. At school he was the captain of the cricket and football teams and whilst at the University he was part of the gymnasium eight. He was also a member of Chorlton Cricket and Golf Clubs. He went on to play cricket for Somerset, making his first appearance in a match against Lancashire in June 1905, and rugby for Taunton town. Each year he returned to his old school to award an annual cricket prize for excellence in fielding.
Ernest was on holiday with his parents when war broke out and despite their objections to his joining the army he clearly felt he had a duty to do so telling them “Chaps like me ought to go”. In September 1914 he joined the University and Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and soon became a Serjeant. He served on the front near La Bassee from November 1915 to June 1916 and then had a short period of leave at home with his parents before returning to the front where he was killed during the attack on High Wood on 20th July 1916. The University magazine noting it “had to mourn the loss of another gallant son”. A Captain Templar of Chorlton-Cum-Hardy wrote to Ernest’s parents to let them know that he “died fighting splendidly. He did wonderful work re-organising the men”. His body was never recovered.
Ernest left effect worth £467 7s 10d to John Henry Shorrocks, a commercial clerk. At the time of his death Ernest’s brother Henry was also serving as a musketry instructor near Newhaven.