Old Coathamians of World War One

Ernest Alexander Augustus MORRISON

Lieutenant, Royal Air Force,
Formerly of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

Born 29 August 1892,
Died 13 November 1918, aged 26 years.

Buried in Coatham (Christ Church) Churchyard,
Redcar, Grave C.17.23.

The Royal Air Force came into being on 1 April 1918, formed from an amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. It originally used Army rank titles.

Lieutenant Morrison had at some stage transferred from the infantry to become an aviator. He died two days after the Armistice was signed. His burial in England as opposed to the Front suggests either that he had been brought back home as a casualty and had died here, or that the cause of his death occurred wholly in England. His grave in Coatham Churchyard is a private one and does not bear the usual Commonwealth War Graves headstone.

Ernest Alexander Augustus Morrison was the second child and elder son of Alexander and Ethel Morrison. His father was a wine & spirit merchant’s agent and the family lived in Coatham, first at 8, Nelson Terrace and later at 1, Victory Terrace. Ernest entered Coatham Grammar School in September 1900 as an eight-year-old in the preparatory class and remained until December 1910, when he was 18. The school magazine of that time lamented his departure, mid-season, from the school’s 1st XI Football team. His younger brother, Ronald, was also a sportsman, playing cricket and tennis, and both were active in the Old Boys’ Association of the time. Ernest took his Cambridge Preliminary Examinations in 1907 and when he left he was articled to a bookseller & printer, although the 1911 Census records him as being unemployed at that time, as was his elder sister, Phyllis. The family still lived in Coatham at the time of his death.