Ernest Austin AINSCOW

Year of Birth:  1897

Place of Birth:  Manchester, Lancashire, England

Date of Enlistment:  3 June 1916

Date and Place of Embarkation:  17 November 1916, Brisbane, Queensland

Ship:  HMAT Kyarra A55

Rank:  Private

Unit(s):  31st Infantry Battalion

Regimental Number:  4248

Died: 12 August 1917


Ernest Ainscow. Photo courtesy of Deborah Gower

Ernest Ainscow was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England the son of Richard Ainscow and Eliza Ann Jackson. Richard and Eliza Ann married 5 July 1896 in Ardwick, Lancashire, England.  Ernest was their first child, followed by Lucretia (b 20 April 1898 Moorside, Manchester, England), Lois May (1905 Lancashire, England) and Gilbert Kay (c1911 Queensland-1942). The Ainscow family arrived in Australia in 1908 on the “Ortona”.


Ernest Ainscow’s baptism 5 Sept 1897, St Michael, Hulme, Manchester, England. Source: “Manchester Church of England Births & Baptisms 1813-1915”

Ernest enlisted 3rd June 1916 aged 18 years and 5 months. His occupation is given as a mechanics assistant. He named his next-of-kin as his mother, Eliza Ann Ainscow c/o Richard Ainscow “Woodford”, Edmonton via Cairns North Queensland. Ernest was 5 foot 9 inches tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair.

He sailed from Brisbane aboard the “Kyarra” 3 June 1916 arriving in Plymouth, England on 1 January 1917. Five months later he sailed for France, via Southampton, arriving in Havre 19 June 1917. He had qualified as a signaller.  It was only two months later he was wounded in Belgium on 12 August 1917 receiving multiple wounds to his legs and arms. Ernest died of his wounds on the same day, 12th August 1917. He is buried Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, Nord Pas de Calais, France.

Deborah Gower, who is a cousin of Ernest, discovered a treasure trove of Ernest’s war time memorabilia.  Included are a number of letters, 17 of which were written to his sister Lucretia, and photographs, cards and a number of other wonderful items. This treasure trove gives an insight into Ernest character and ensures his sacrifice will never be forgotten.


HMAT Kyarra A55 – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


First page of a letter written to his sister Lucretia from Hurdcott Wiltshire England, April 29 1917. Courtesy of Deborah Gower.


Letter from The Rev G. Kennedy Tucker to Ernest’s mother informing her of the circumstances of Ernest’s death. Courtesy of Deborah Gower


NAA: B4248


Ernest Ainscow’s grave. Courtesy of Deborah Gower


Ernest Ainscow Collection. Courtesy of Deborah Gower.


Ernest with his sister Lucretia 1916. Photo courtesy of Doreen Bruce


Embroidered card sent by Ernest to his sister Lucretia. Courtesy of Deborah Gowan.


Online Resources

NAA: B2455, Ernest Austin Ainscow. National Archives of Australia

Discovering Ernest at the Cairns RSL until 9 August 2015

Kyarra A55. Australian War Memorial


Other Sources

Deborah Gowan Collection


If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please add a comment or contact the Society

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