Mr Ernest Edward Gradidge was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 6 December 1889.
He was the son of Stephen John Gradidge (b. 1857), a gas worker, and Eliza Ann Petty (b. 1852), both Hampshire-natives who had married in Southampton in 1880.
Ernest had four known siblings: Stephen John (b. 1881), Henry James (b. 1883), William Charles (b. 1885), Edith Florence (b. 1887) and Margaret Ellen (b. 1892).
Ernest first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at 49 Cossack Street, Southampton. He would lose his mother in 1896 and on the 1901 census Ernest and his remaining family are living at 22 Bellevue Street, his father still a gas worker. His father was remarried later in 1901 to widow Agnes Oswin, née Hayward, who had two children, Eva and Percy.
On the 1911 census Ernest's family are listed as living at 44 Radcliffe Road, Northam, Southampton although Ernest is absent, already at sea. Prior to joining the Merchant Service he had enlisted with the Royal Navy Reserves sometime around 1908.
When Ernest signed on to the Titanic on April 6, 1912, he gave his address as 44 Radcliffe Road (Northam) and his previous ship as the Atrato. As a fireman he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6.
Ernest was lost in the Titanic disaster. His body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett and was buried at Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 6 May 1912.
© Bill Fowler, Canada.
NO. 276. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 30. VERY FAIR HAIR AND MOUSTACHE.
CLOTHING - Green suit; mourning band; flannel shirt.
EFFECTS - Pipe; key; padlock; purse; three shillings; British Seafarer Union Book, No. 560.
NAME - C. GRADIAGE,
Ernest is remembered on a memorial tablet in St Augustine's Church, Southampton. His father later moved to Bromley, Kent and died there aged 82 in 1939.
References and SourcesUnited States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Donald Hyslop, Alastair Forsyth and Sheila Jemima (1997) Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage, Sutton Publishing, Southampton City Council. ISBN 0 7509 1436 X
Susan Wels (1997) Titanic: The Worlds Greatest Ocean Liner, Crew list by Michael Findley
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S.