|Date of Birth||April 4, 1891|
|Place of Birth||Forest, Plympton Township Lambton County, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Sydney Manning, father, Forest, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||High School Teacher|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Georgetown, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||June 10, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||25|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 15, 1945|
|Age at Death||54|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Ernest David Manning was born on 4 April 1891 in Plympton Township, Lambton County, Ontario. His father Sydney Manning was born in Harberton, Devonshire, England and immigrated to Canada as a child in 1867 according to various census documents. His mother Elizabeth Shillington was born in Lambton County. The couple had married in Plympton in 1889 where they were to farm and raise their children. Ernest was their first born, followed by Ellen Frances (1893), William Shillington (1896-1969), Ray Frederick (1898), Earle Sydney (1901-1959), Joseph Coulton (1905-1905), and Mary Margaret (1909).
The 1891 Canada census found Ernest and his mother living with the Wilkeson family in the county of Lambton, his mother listed as a domestic. His father Sydney was living with his parents, also in Lambton. By the 1901 census the family had reunited and were living on their farm at Plympton with new members since the last census, Ellen, William, and Ray. By the 1911 census the family was completed with two more children Earle and Mary; sadly baby Joseph had only lived for a few months in 1905. Ernest was attending high school at the time of the census. He was to later graduate from Queen’s University.
Ernest signed his attestation papers in Guelph, Ontario on 10 June 1916. His present address was given as Georgetown where he was working as a high school teacher. He gave his father Sydney back in Forest, Ontario as next of kin. Twenty five years of age, he had blue eyes and black hair.
As a Private with the 56th Overseas Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Ernest embarked from Halifax aboard the Metagama on 11 September 1916. In January of 1917 he was transferred to the new 55th Battery, CFA and arrived in France in late August. Less than a month later, on 18th of September at Lens, he sustained a shrapnel wound to the elbow. Invalided to England by the end of the month, the injury was very serious. The elbow was shattered and disorganized, requiring a complete excision with bone removal. Infection set in and Ernest was to spend time at a number of hospitals in England including six months at the No 16 Canadian General Hospital, Orpington before being transferred to the No 5 Canadian General Hospital at Liverpool in May of 1918.
Ernest was invalided to Canada aboard the Araguay, arriving in Halifax in early June of 1918. He was granted a furlough and then discharged in London, Ontario on the 6th of September as medically unfit for service. His intended residence was Forest, Ontario where his father was living.
On 12 August 1919 Ernest married Nellie Madeline Darling in Simcoe, Ontario where Ernest was working as a teacher. Born in 1897 in Durham, Gray County of Ontario, Madeline was the daughter of John and Eliza Mary (née Horn) Darling. Her father was a druggist by trade. Ernest, Madeline and baby daughter Helen Patricia were found on the 1921 Canada census for Simcoe where Ernest was working as a teacher. The couple went on to have two more children, son David and daughter Madeline. After leaving Simcoe, Ernest was a high school principal in Tweed and Newmarket for a number of years.
The family eventually found their way to Kenora, Ontario where Ernest took over the position of principal of the Kenora High School in September of 1935. For a while he was a governor of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, and was a member of the Kenora Rotary Club, a member of the AF and AM, the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion, and of Knox United Church. During the Second World War years he made a point of meeting the boys and girls of Kenora passing through the town or returning after the war, seldom missing a train.
Ernest died on 15 November 1945, stricken with a seizure while at work. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Madeline, son David with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, daughter Mrs G Wakefield of Winnipeg, and daughter Madeline in nursing training in Toronto. Ernest is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. His Veteran Death Card listed his wife, Madeline Manning of Kenora, as his next of kin. It appears that Madeline later remarried and lived in Red Deer, Alberta. She died on 24 October 1972 and is interred in the Red Deer Cemetery, surname given as Martin.
Ernest’s brother William signed recruitment papers on 26 April 1918 in London, Ontario. With occupation given as farmer, he had completed his medical examination the previous October. His papers indicate that he was transferred to the 63rd Depot Battalion, Canadian Field Artillery but other details of his service are unknown.
Ernest is commemorated on the Roll of Honour of the Ontario Teachers Who Served in the Great War 1914-1918.
By Judy Stockham
Madeline’s grave marker photograph by Deb, findagrave.com.