Second Lieutenant Ernest Hildreth. Tragic Air Crash Death of a 4th Yorks Battalion Volunteer.|
The following information has been kindly contributed by Ray Wilkins of Middlesbrough.|
On the 3rd of April 1908 Ernest Hildreth enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment and was given the Number 172.
The Government Act establishing the Territorial Force came into force the same month.
The Army Form below shows that he re-engaged for a further year in 1909 and a further 2 years in 1910.
Ernest was born in 1889 in Middlesbrough, N Yorks and lived there at 22 Church Street with his Mother Eliza, who came from North
Ormesby, N Yorks and his Father, Henry, who came from Darlington, Co Durham.
By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his widowed Mother at 10 Turner Street, Redcar, N Yorks and working for the local
Iron and Steel firm of Dorman Long as a Clerk in a Galvanising Works.
For some reason by the time War was declared in August 1914 Ernest's service with the 4th Yorks seems to have terminated and at some
time he re-enlisted in the 14th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. This Unit was initially based in Middlesbrough and supplying drafts
for Overseas Battalions.
Again at some unknown date he must have volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps.
In the September Quarter of 1916 he married at Stockton, Co Durham Eleanor Inglis.
Trainees in the Royal Flying Corps usually began as Observers. On the 18th October 1916, he was flying in this capacity with Pilot, Second
Lieutenant Edwards at Narborough Aerodrome, Norfolk when their RE7 aeroplane developed problems and crashed.
Pilot Edwards survived, but Ernest Hildreth was killed.
He is buried in Narborough [All Saints] Churchyard.
Royal Aircraft Experimental Reconnaissance RE7.