Friday, 9 September 2011

Highwood: Remembering ... Ernest Skingley

Received   8 June 2010

Dear Andrew

I was quite thrilled to see Ernest’s name on the war memorial In Highwood where he is named along with two other Skingley’s.

Ernest Skingley was my grandfather and was killed in WW1 whilst serving on HMS Brisk which was sunk by a German U-boat.

I had some trouble locating Ernest Skingley as the information on the Commonwealth War Graves shows his father as Walter Skingley.  This information is incorrect. I have today contacted the Commonwealth War Graves to see what they need from me to correct this error.  The other information however, is correct. Ernest was married to Edith Maud Knight and on their marriage certificate, his father is shown as  James Skingley, Coachman.  Ernest lied about his age on the marriage certificate so I was unable to track him down for a while.  I have now obtained the birth certificate for Ernest and this also shows his father as James Skingley.

My mother was one year old when her father Ernest was killed, and she is still alive today.

After Ernest Skingley died on the 2-10-1917, Edith Maud married Herbert Arthur Pledger in 1919.

I remember my mother telling me  that Edith Maud was contacted by the Commonwealth War Graves regarding Ernest when they were trying to rebuild their records.  Perhaps Ernest lived with his Uncle Walter at some stage in his life and Edith was  under the impression that Walter was his father.

I am living in Australia and on my next trip to the UK, I will be visiting the War Memorial in Highwood.  Do you know if the three Skingley’s shown are related in any way.  Their parents are all different, but they may be distant cousins.

Are you able to put me in touch with other Skingley or Knight families in the Blackmore area?  I note from the website that Rosalind Lloyd has been contacted with regard to Ernest Knight.  I too have been in touch with her and gave her some information on the siblings of Edith Maud Knight.

Would you like me to let you have more information on Ernest Skingley such as his service record, actual birth and marriage dates, etc.

Unfortunately, I do not have any photographs of Ernest Skingley.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Replied  15 June 2010

Dear Pauline

Thank you for your interesting E mail.  Highwood is the neighbouring parish to Blackmore so I am sorry I do not know anything about the Skingley’s.  It is a name I have not encountered in the Blackmore records.  Rosalind Lloyd was very helpful in helping us identify an Ernest Knight. Again, I do not know of any Knight’s living in Blackmore today.  On a positive note I will, if you are happy, publish our correspondence on the blog ( and see if we receive a response.  I will also pass details on to a local historian who has researched the War Memorial at Highwood.  He might be able to advise.

I would be happy to receive any information you have on your grandfather and would be happy to create a page commemorating him.  [This has now been done - ]

With kind regards

Andrew Smith

Received  22 June 2010

Dear Andrew

Many thanks for your reply.  I am happy for you to publish our correspondence on the blog and for my details to be passed on to a local historian.  On the memorial, there are two other Skingley's listed, William Stephen Skingley and Herbert Skingley.  I have been informed that William Stephen and Ernest are related from 5 generations back. I cannot find a family connection between Herbert and Ernest but perhaps a note on the blog might prove helpful in this regard.

I would be delighted to see a page commemorating Ernest Skingley and to this end, I attach an individual record for Ernest.


Received  10 July 2011

I have emailed you before regarding Ernest Skingley who is shown on the WW1 war memorial along with two other Skingleys.

You informed me last year that you would be happy to create a page commemorating Ernest Skingley, but on looking at the website, I cannot see that you have done this.

Is the information I sent to you forming part of the War Memorial Research Project?   Is it near completion and will it be shown on the website?


Replied 16 July 2011

Dear Pauline

I have your tribute page to Ernest Skingley and will publish it as soon as I am able.  This needs to go back on my ‘things to do’ list!

The information does not form part of the War Memorial Research Project because investigation was limited to Blackmore.  Ernest Skingley does not have any connection with the parish, as far as I am aware, but is from Highwood.


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