(L to R) 1914 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal; Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct
Ernest Lawson Anderton was born on the 12th September 1888 in Leicester. His father William was a music teacher and his mother was called Grace Jane Anderton (nee Lupton).
He enlisted in the Army in March 1903 in Aldershot. He joined the 3rd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and was given the service number 8654. For some reason his name was recorded simply as Ernest Lawson, and he was known by this name throughout his Army career. His civilian trade on enlistment was a musician and he trained as a bandsman in the battalion band. Bandsmen often served as stretcher bearers during wartime. Ernest received first aid and stretcher bearer training shortly after enlisting in 1903.
At some point Ernest was transferred to the 2nd battalion and served with the battalion during the early months of the First World War, presumably as a stretcher bearer. He was awarded the 1914 Star, or ‘Mons Star’, for service in France or Belgium prior to the 22nd November 1914.
By March 1916 Ernest had served 13 years with the Manchester Regiment and was discharged according to the original terms of his engagement. His commanding officer noted his ‘exemplary character’. However, in July 1916 Ernest re-enlisted in the Army with the 2/6th Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment and served with them until March 1919. He was given a new service number 49160 and became an Acting Lance Corporal.
After the war he joined the West Yorkshire Regiment with the service number 84726 and resumed his pre-war Army career as a bandsman. He was described as:
An excellent, clean, trustworthy soldier. Has done good work as a bandsman, a good clarinet player.
On the 17th December 1921 he re-joined the Manchester Regiment with a new service number 4380880. He undertook various roles including serving in the regimental police (1923), a company store clerk (1925-26), an officer’s servant or ‘batman’ (1926) and a driver (1927). He was discharged on the 23rd March 1928 with the rank of Private.
On the 22nd December 1926 Ernest married Ivy Gaydon at St Peter’s Church in Ashton-under-Lyne. By 1939 they were living at 156 Rake Lane in Swinton and he was working as a commissionaire.
Unfortunately we do not know any more about his later life. His medals were donated to the museum collections in 2019.