Ernest Kilner had an horrendous few months towards the end of 1915 that will have changed his life for ever.According to the 1911 census, Ernest and his older sister, Eleanor, were the two surviving children of Harry and Mary Annie Kilner.Both 49 years old and married for 28 years, Eleanor was originally from Trowbridge in Wiltshire while Harry was a Yorkshireman from Penistone and in 1901 had been a grocer but was now listed as a woolcomber. The family were living in a six-room house at 31 Clifton Place.Ernest was born in Shipley and in 1911, aged 15 was given as a
silversmith.The first we hear of Ernest’s war is on 3 September 1915 when he wrote to his parents to tell them he had been wounded.MorphineHe was on sentry duty when a bullet hit him under the left eye. An officer gave him some morphine and he did not feel any pain.He told his parents the wound was healing faster than had been expected and he was grateful it was no worse.Before this Pte Kilner had spent
time in hospital suffering from ptomaine poisoning.He also mentioned meeting Rev Richard Whincup, the vicar of Windhill, who was acting as chaplain to the 1/6 West Yorkshire Regt. ‘He speaks of the reverend as a good friend to them all.’Harry will needed the support of all his friends two months later when we learn that he was in hospital in Boulogne with frost bite in his feet which resulted in in him losing both legs.
He was hoping to be transferred to a hospital in England soon.‘The nurses, among whom are some titled ladies, are very kind, he wrote’It would be interesting to learn how Ernest coped with life after the war. Thanks to Tish Lawson we know that Ernest Kilner died in 1962 at The Park, Rooley Lane. According to the electoral registers he did live at Clifton Place after the war. His sister married Sydney Gandy in 1917 and they lived at Clifton Place in the early 1920s.Based on reports in the Shipley Times & Express 3-9-1915 and 19-11-1915