Ernest George Smith was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in 1885 and his birth was registered in the first quarter of that year. He was the son of Robert John Smith (b. 1849 in St Helier, Jersey) and Mary Ann Wheeler (b. 1852 in Southampton) who had married in Southampton in 1873.
Ernest was one of ten children, six of whom lived past infancy. His known siblings were: Frederick (b. 1875), Martha (b. 1876), Albert (b. 1878), Thomas (b. 1880), Mabel (b. 1884), Sidney (b. 1889) and Ethel (b. 1891).
Ernest first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at 49 Craven (?) Street, St Mary, Southampton and his father was described as a painter. The family have moved to 12 Godfrey's Court, Southampton by the time of the 1901 census and a 16-year-old Ernest is described as an errand boy. He was not present on the 1911 census with his family, perhaps at sea, but they were listed as living at 27 Longcroft Street, Southampton.
When Ernest signed on to the Titanic¸ on 6 April 1912 in Southampton, he gave his address as 1 St Mary's Buildings, (Southampton). His previous ship had been the Oceanic. As a trimmer he could expect monthly wages of £5 10s.
Ernest Smith, who was unmarried, was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Ernest's mother seemingly passed away less than a year after her son. His father died in 1934.