Updated 12 Aug 2008

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 553





David Wardman writes:
The Middleton Memorials page on your site includes Pte Ernest Bunting of the Highland Light Infantry. Ernest was the husband of Grace (nee Else) who was the sister of Pte William S B Else MM. At the time of enlisting Ernest was already the father of Kathleen Elizabeth Bunting, and at the end of the Great War returned to Middleton and together with Grace they raised to adulthood 5 further children, namely Gladys, Eunice, Clifford, Daphne and Jean.

The wedding group photo shows Dick Wardman and Kathleen Elizabeth Bunting in the centre; Kathleen's father Ernest Bunting in the light suit on the right; Dick's cousin Robert Steer Wardman on the left; and Kathleen's young sisters Daphne and Jean as bridesmaids. Daphne subsequently married Neville Roose of Two Dales and Jean married Roy Barnes of Matlock. (Dick Wardman features in the Wardman pedigree on this site.)

It remains a mystery to me why Ernest, a man born in Cromford and living in Middleton should have served with the Highland Light Infantry. Ernest's first overseas trip was with the HLI to Ireland where they camped on the Curragh during the Irish troubles. The regiment then moved to France where Ernest was shot through the neck whilst on a raiding party, taken prisoner and successfully operated on by a German surgeon.

Post Great War, Ernest spent the bulk of his working life as a charge hand at the Cromford Garnetter's mill in Via Gellia where old woollen cloth was processed prior to being sent for inclusion in the manufacture of Viyella fabric. On retirement he moved to live with his daughter Eunice at Adam Bede Crescent in Wirksworth and umpired for Wirksworth Cricket Club whilst Eunice scored. He enjoyed a game of whist and was a regular at the weekly whist drives held in the Town Hall and indeed he died whilst he was enjoying his game of whist and one of his fellow players described it as a beautiful way to go.

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Source:David Wardman

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Stuart Flint writes:

I have very fond memories of the Bunting family as Ernest Buntings wife Grace was sister to my Uncle George Else who married my father's sister Millicent he working at Bolsover Colliery

Ernest and Grace Bunting's daughter Daphne and Jean worked at one time and another for my father in his shop at Middleton.. Daphne from leaving school up to marriage to Neville Roose worked for my father Harry Flint in his Grocery and Provision Shop Central Stores Middleton and then when my Father was diagonsed with skin cancer and had a large stroke after radium treatment, Daphne came back to the shop so that mother could care for Dad.. I worked alongside Daphne in the shop for some time ..She stayed with us up to mother selling the business in the 1970s ..Her sister Jean also drove the shop van with orders to outside villages and around Middleton.. Jean taught me to drive for a while...Gladys another daughter of Ernest and Grace Bunting married Isaac Gratton of The Dale Wirksworth Isaac a stalwart of Wirksworth Brass Band and then B.M.W. Band (Brassington Middleton & Wirksworth)

Uncle George and Aunt Millicent Else nee Flint had daughters Gladys Else who married George Reddish of Chesterfield he a miner and Grace Else who married George Bentley living next door to Uncle George and Aunt Millicent at the Pit Cottages opposite Bolsover Parish Church where in my youth I was a regular visitor.. I am in contact with Carol the daughter of Gladys and George Reddish

P.S. when Daphne married Neville Roose at Mount Zion Methodist Church Middleton I presented her with a decorated wooden wedding spoon on the steps of the Church I have very fond memories of Daphne who lives near Matlock today she was much more than a grocery assistant for she was a great friend and still is of my family Other assistants who worked at Dads shop were Edgar Doxey brother of Willian Hubert Doxey, Edgar after National Service worked as a Foreman at Masson Mill up to retirement he now deceased Beryl Haymes Margaret Slack Eric Sheldon Betty Harrison Herbert Doxey Julia Marchington and in her teens my wife Veronika

Regards Stuart G Flint

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