Ernest Roskelly Olive was born in Richmond, Surrey, England in the latter half of 1885. He was the son of Enida Higgins Olive (b. 1858) and Kate Walsh (b. 1856).
His father Enida hailed from Plumstead, Kent and his mother from Basingstoke, Hampshire and they had married in London in 1880. Enida Higgins worked in the tailoring business and early census records describe him as a tailor's cutter and outfitter. The 1911 census had him describe himself as a sartorial artist.
Ernest was one of five children born to his parents, his known siblings being: Annie Ethel (1882-1972), Harold Enida (1884-1920) and Norman Leonard (1889-1957).
He first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at 19 Shaftesbury Road, Richmond, Surrey. They would relocate to 236 Kentish Town Road, St Pancras, London by the time of the 1901 census and Ernest was apparently still at school. Another shift occurred and the family were living in Southampton by the time of the 1911 census at 37 Hanley Road, Shirley. Following in his father's footsteps, Ernest was working as a tailor's cutter. He would go to sea shortly thereafter to work among a select group of stewards entrusted with handling the expensive clothing of first class passengers.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Ernest gave his address as 37 Hanley Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As the clothes presser he received monthly wages of £6.
Ernest Olive, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Ernest's parents later relocated to Melksham, Wiltshire and both died there, his father on 1 May 1939 and his mother on 25 November 1941.