(Service number 6/1383 (chnaged to 4/1383a))
|First Rank||Sapper||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||23 Sept 1892||Place of Birth||Glass Niven, Amberley|
|Date||10 October 1914||Age||21 years 1 month|
|Address at Enlistment||46 Oxford St, Timaru|
|Occupation||Carpenter (apprentice at Anders & Brown, Maori Hill)|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs L Ramsay, 46 Oxford St Timaru|
|Served with||Canterbury Infantry||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Canterbury Infantry Battalion|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship|
|Other Units Served With||1 February 1915 - transferred to NZ Engineers|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Campaigns||Balkans (Gallipoli) 1915, Egyptian 1915|
|Service Medals||1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||27 October 1916||Reason|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||5 July 1952||Age||58|
|Place of Death||Timaru|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Timaru Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Ernest was the son of Robert and Letitia Ramsay (nee Cairns), whose family arrived in Timaru on the 'Strathallan' in 1859.
He enlisted on 10 October 1914 in Timaru, giving his occupation as carpenter (he was an apprentice at Anders & Brown at Maori Hill, Timaru). He was aged 21 years and 1 month and was single.
Ernest served as a private in the Canterbury Infantry when he departed for Egypt, from where he went on to serve at Gallipoli. On 1 February 1915 though he had been transferred to the NZ Engineers (Field Company), serving as a sapper. He suffered a gunshot wound at Dardanelles, requiring recuperation in England for a time. He re-joined his unit in Gallipoli on 15 August 1915, but was evacuated the following month with myalgia. He was discharged from the army on 27 Oct 1916, as a result of illness suffered on active duty.
The war's effect on Ernest's health impacted his ability to secure full-time employment. Even so he had an active community life, and had a family of five with his wife Violet Edna (nee Ramsay). Their children were: Jean, Allan, Robert, Norma and Ramon.
Community service came in the form of serving with the West End Ratepayer's Association for over 20 years. He was also a supporter of sports, being a keen swimmer himself. The Timaru Herald later reported that:
"Mr Ramsay joined the West End Swimming Club at its inception in 1929, and during the years served as secretary, starter and judge of diving. For many years he was the club's delegate on the South Canterbury Swimming Centre, and was on the panel of judges appointed by the New Zealand Diving Association. Mr Ramsay was elected a life member of the West End Club for his valuable services."
Support of sports did not stop there, as he was also supporter the Timaru Harrier Club, which held a Saturday afternoon run from his home for a number of years.
In 2008 Ernest's granddaughter spoke with her aunt, who commented that Ernest enjoyed his beer, a smoke – and maybe less common – also enjoyed a bacon sandwich for breakfast in bed every day. He was also active, regularly swimming at the rocks at Caroline Bay all year round. Like many of his age he enjoyed. He was a good dancer, and with many of his family regularly went to Scottish Society dances.
Ernest died suddenly on 5 July 1852 at his home in Regent Street in his 59th year and was buried in Timaru Cemetery. Amongst the tributes paid to him after his death, the Timaru Harrier Club stood in silence as a mark of respect to his memory at the end of their club championships shortly after his death.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [21 December 2017]; N Z Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5550 0095745) [3 January 2018]; SCRoll web sumission by S Ramsay, 2 & 9 January 2018; Timaru Herald 7 July 1952
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Liz Shea, SC branch NZSG; Tony Rippin, South Canterbruy Museum
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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