|Date of Birth||September 21, 1870|
|Place of Birth||Liverpool, Lancashire|
|Next of Kin||Emma Dalmer, wife, Falls View, Niagara Falls, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Welland, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Falls View, Niagara Falls, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||October 21, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||45|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||June 12, 1925|
|Age at Death||54|
|Buried At||Fairview Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario|
|Plot||Section NN Plot 0366|
Although a birth record was not found, by most accounts Ernest Alexander Dalmer was born on 21 September 1870 in Liverpool, Lancashire in England. His father Frederick William George Theodore Dalmer, a tinsmith, was from Prussia while his mother Elizabeth Sabrina Haywood was from Alcester, Warwickshire, England. The couple married on 1 July 1861 in Aston, Warwickshire where they lived for the first few year of their marriage as evidenced by the birth of daughters Lily Constance Amelia (1862) and Alice Eugene (1864). By the birth of daughter Elizabeth in 1866, the family was living in the West Derby area of Liverpool. Sadly, Elizabeth died during the same year. Other children born in Liverpool/West Derby were Arthur Edward (1867), Ernest, Frederick Francis (born and died in 1871), Frederick William (1877), and Charles Hermann (1880).
On 4 September 1892, in Toxeth, Liverpool, Ernest married Emma Hester Shaw. At the time of the marriage Ernest was working as a gas fitter. Born in 1868 in Liverpool, Emma was the daughter of Stanley Thorton Shaw and Rosa O’Neill, her parents marrying in 1862 in Liverpool. Ernest and Emma were to make the West Derby area of Liverpool their home, giving birth to children Gladys Eugene (1894), Florence May (1896), Herbert Alexander (1899), twins Horace and Hilda (born and died in 1900), Arthur Edward (1901), and Lily (1902, died 1906). Although no other records or mention of him were found, Ernest’s later WW1 service record listed another child, son Harry who was born about 1892/93.
Although an immigration record for Ernest was not found, it appears that he immigrated to Canada in 1906, settling in the Kenora area in northwestern Ontario. Emma and children Gladys, Florence, Herbert, and Arthur arrived in Montreal aboard the Tunisian on 27 September 1907, on their way to Kenora. The family lived on the outskirts of Kenora in the township of Jaffray where Ernest worked as a gas fitter. Son Frederick George was born in 1910 in Jaffray. Around 1912 the family moved to Niagara Falls, Ontario where Ernest’s brother Arthur and family were living, Arthur having immigrated in 1906.
With occupation given as labourer and his wife Emma in Niagara Falls as next of kin, Ernest enlisted on 21 October 1915 in Welland, Ontario. Likely to appear younger, his date of birth was given as 21 September 1873. Previous military service was given as three years with the 6th Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment. As a Private with the 98th Battalion, Ernest arrived in Liverpool, England aboard the Lapland on 25 July 1916. That September he was transferred to the 58th Battalion, arriving in France on the 9th. The 58th Battalion had arrived in France on 22 February 1916 where it fought as part of the 9th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. In late October of 1917 Ernest was granted a ten day leave, and in mid December he was awarded a Good Conduct Badge. In late January of 1918 he attended a cooking school, returning to the unit in early March. However by May of 1918 Ernest was experiencing health issues (myalgia) and was transferred first to the Canadian Labour Pool and then on to the 3rd Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops. Going back to the Canadian Labour Pool he was then transferred to the 7th Canadian Area Employment Company before going on a ten day leave in late October of 1918. Ernest was transferred back to England in mid December and embarked for Canada aboard the Baltic on 29 January 1919. Arriving in Halifax on 5 February, he was discharged from service as medically unfit on 28 February 1919 in Toronto, rank of Private.
Ernest’s son Herbert enlisted with the 76th Battalion in August of 1915, giving a false date of birth to appear older. After arriving in England he was transferred to the 21st Battalion and arrived in France that June. That September, at the Somme, he sustained a gunshot wound to the neck and was invalided to England. Following his recuperation, he returned to France/Belgium in March of 1917. In August of 1918 he was wounded again, a gunshot wound to the foot, returning to his unit in mid October. Herbert was discharged from service in May of 1919 in Canada, rank of Private. Ernest’s brother Frederick enlisted with the 171st Battalion in February of 1916 and served overseas as a Staff Sergeant with the No 8 Light Canadian Ordnance Mobile Workshop, later renamed the 82nd Canadian Ordnance Workshop Unit, of the Canadian Ordnance Corps. He returned to Canada in early July of 1919.
After the war Ernest returned to Niagara Falls where he worked as a silverworker/labourer in the Oneida Community factory. Sadly, daughter Gladys had died of influenza in 1918 in Niagara Falls. By the time of the 1921 census son Arthur had also passed away and daughter Florence had married Leon Parrish and moved to the States. Living at home with Ernest and Emma were sons Herbert and Frederick, with Herbert working as a labourer and Frederick listed as a student.
Ernest died on 11 June 1925 in Niagara Falls. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Emma, daughter Florence Parrish of Buffalo, New York, son Herbert with the US Marines in Virginia, and son Frederick at home. He was also survived by his brother Frederick of Niagara Falls (d 1964 in Toronto), sisters Lily (d 1943 in Liverpool) and Alice (d 1936 in Liverpool), and brother Charles (d 1931 in West Derby). Ernest was predeceased by his father Theodore (1893), mother Elizabeth (1921), both back in England, and brother Arthur (1920, Niagara Falls). He was also predeceased by children Gladys, Horace, Hilda, Arthur, and Lily. Ernest’s wife Emma later died on 6 November 1941 in Niagara Falls. His son Herbert died in 1972 in Niagara Falls, daughter Florence in 1986 in Buffalo, and son Frederick in 1994 in Hamburg, Erie, New York. Along with other family members, Ernest and Emma are interred in Fairview Cemetery in Niagara Falls.
By Judy Stockham
Obituaries provided by the Niagara Falls Public Library.
Grave marker photograph is from the Fairview Cemetery website.