Ernest George Richer was born in 1891 to William and Elizabeth. He was the fourth of eleven children born between 1886 and 1907. According to the 1901 census, Ernest was living with his parents at Grove Cottages, Ilford Lane. Ernest’s parents later moved to 5 Sandyhill Road, Ilford.
Ernest joined the Royal Navy in 1912 as a Stoker on HMS Aboukir, but he served under the name of Smith. Ernest died in the North Sea when his ship, the ageing cruiser HMS Aboukir, was sunk by a single torpedo fired by the German submarine U-9 on 22nd September 1914. The U-9 sank two other cruisers that day, HMS Hogue and HMS Cressy, in less than an hour with a loss of 1,454 officers and ratings. 23 year old Ernest has no grave but is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
Research by Redbridge Museum and Patrick O’Mara:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission