Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Despite there being good evidence for the Legg family in Portsmouth between 1891 and 1911 there is nothing before that period that has been traced, either locally or nationally. This family history therefore begins with Ernest James's father, Albert William Legg, who declares in the census that he was born in Portsmouth in 1864 but for which there is no corroboratory evidence.
All this means that the marriage between Albert William and Ellen Louisa Lilly in 1878, in Portsmouth, is the earliest confirmed sighting of the family. Even so they promptly disappear again and do not resurface until the census of 1891 when they were living at 13 Sophia Place which ran south from Park Road (now King Henry I Street). With Albert and Ellen were their children Albert Henry (b. 1883), Alfred (b. 1889) and Ernest James (b. 1890). Albert was working as a carpenter.
Ten years later the family were at 19 Staunton Street, Landport and three more children had been born, George (b. 1892), Bertie (b. 1894) and Maud (b. 1896). By 1911 they had moved to 27 Abercrombie Street, Landport, where they had a rather crowded 6 room house in which were Albert and Ellen, five children and three grandchildren. Perhaps that is why Ernest James left home to join the army.
Although it's not certain that he did join up before the outbreak of the Great War, the fact that he is recorded in the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment suggests that he did. Nothing else is known of his service career except that he lost his life on 12th July 1916. As he is buried in Portsmouth it's likely that he was wounded in battle and transferred home for treatment before succumbing to his injuries.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Ernest James Legg, Private (15448), 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died 12/07/1916. Buried at Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth (Grave Ref: Plot 103, Row 11, Grave 31.). Son of A W Legg, of Abercrombie Street, Landport, Portsmouth.
Ernest Legg is remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X.
Tim Backhouse
March 2015