Sergeant Ernest William Warne


Ernest William Warne was born on 2 July 1893 at Newcastle, County Down, the second of four children of English-born naval pensioner and grocer Walter Warne and his wife Jane (formerly Long, née Long). By the time of the 1911 Census he and his older sister were living as boarders at 141 Springfield Road, Belfast, Ernest serving an apprenticeship as an engine fitter with the firm Davidson & Co.

Warne and his brother Sidney Herbert enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 14 September 1914 (No.1211). On 1 May 1915 they embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division. In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII Corps.

Warne transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 19 October 1916 (No.50829) with the rank of Air Mechanic Class 2. He was promoted to Air Mechanic Class 1 on 1 May 1917, corporal on 1 January 1918, and sergeant on 14 March 1918. He transferred to the Royal Air Force on its creation on 1 April 1918, with the rank of sergeant mechanic.

Warne returned from France to the UK on 1 September 1918, probably due to the eczema he had suffered from since August the previous year. On 8 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to the RAF's G Reserve. He was granted a pension due to the eczema, which was attributed to his service.

Soon after the war Warne was living at 40 Hatfield Street, Belfast.