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 (1881-1911), Henry James (1883-1930), William Charles (1885-1961), Edith Florence1 (1887-1939) and Margaret Ellen2 (1891-1961).
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 were 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 in the Royal Navy Reserves sometime around 1908.
When Ernest signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 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. When he joined the ship his family were still reeling from the loss of his eldest brother Stephen, also a merchant seaman, who accidentally drowned in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 26 December 1911.
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.
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.
GRADIDGE, Ernest Edward. Dearly beloved son of Stephen and Agnes Gradidge, 44 Radcliffe Road, Northam, aged 22. - Southern Daily Echo, 2 May 1912
His father later moved to Bromley, Kent and died there aged 82 in 1939.