Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Coming from a long standing Isle of Wight family, Ernest Andrew Bridle spent well over ten years in the Portsmouth Police service.
His father Daniel worked as a labourer for most of his life, mainly in the agriculture industry on the Isle of Wight. Daniel had married fellow island resident Sarah Ann Chambers early in 1865, and, living mainly in Ryde they raised a family of ten children of whom Ernest was the seventh.
The earliest evidence of Ernest's police career comes in the 1901 census when he was a boarder at 29 Tipnor Street. He married Elizabeth Alice Brown (known as Alice) in 1906 by which time they already had a son, Arthur, who had been born in 1905. They had two further children, Doris and Florence in the next few years.
It is not known where the family initially set up home as at the only census after their marriage (1911) Ernest, Alice and the three children were at the home of Ernest's parents on the Isle of Wight. This could of course have been a short visit or something of a longer duration.
As a 34 year old family man and member of the police force Ernest probably did not enlist at the outbreak of the Great War. When he did so he enlisted at Newport with the Royal Field Artillery where in February 1918 he was a member of the 1st Section, 8th Division, Ammunition Column. He was killed on service on the 18th of that month. The circumstances of his death are unknown.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Lance Bombardier Ernest Andrew Bridle (212370), Royal Field Artillery, died 18/02/1918, aged 38. Buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery. Son of Daniel and Sarah Bridle; husband of Elizabeth Alice Bridle, of 81, Porchester Rd., North End, Portsmouth.
Ernest Bridle is commemorated on the St. Alban's Church WW1 memorial and the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', nor, surprisingly, is he named on the Police Memorial in the Guildhall.
Tim Backhouse
February 2014