Photograph and family information courtesy of Alexander.


Born: 21st June 1917, Ipswich.

Died: 21st November 1943; age: 26; Died of Beriberi due to Malnutrition as a Japanese PoW – at Canu Jungle Camp, Thailand.

Captured: 15th February 1942 – Fall of Singapore.

Residence: 20, Ashmere Grove, Ipswich.

Occupation: Tailor’s Cutter – J. H. Grimwade and Son Ltd., Cornhill, Ipswich


Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number: 5775765.

Regiment: The Royal Norfolk Regiment, 4th Battalion – Infantry.


Grave Reference:


Kanchanaburi War Cemetery,


Image courtesy of Matt Blair. Matt while visiting the cemetery, googled his name and sent this image. He stated: You will be glad to know that the cemetery is in immaculate condition and well tended. 

Father: Harry Cole, born May 1883, Ipswich. A Watch, Clock & Jewellery Dealer & Repairer.

Mother: Lucy Eliza Cole (nee Blake), born August 1882, Stoke Newington, Middlesex.



Ernest was a Tailor’s Cutter, and a member of the St. John’s Ambulance Corps – Ipswich Division. He was living with his parents, sister and nephew at the family home – 12, Woodville Road, Ipswich.

Harry, a Watch, Clock & Jewellery Dealer & Repairer.

Lucy, upaid Domestic Duties.

Violet Bertha Threadkell (nee Cole), born October 1907, Ipswich.

and Ernest’s 3 year old nephew.


In 1940, Ernest married Lucy Norfolk, born August 1911, Hill Cottages, Wash Bridge Road, Ridgewell, Essex.


Evening Star – 1st November 1940.


Cole – Norfolk

The wedding took place at St. Helen’s Church, Ipswich, of E.G. Cole, of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Cole, 12, Woodville Road, Ipswich, and Miss L. Norfolk, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Norfolk, of Parkeston Quay, Essex.

Given away by her father, the bride wore a heather-coloured costume and accessories to match, and carried a bouquet of pink and cream carnations. She was attended by her sister, Miss N. Norfolk, who wore an Air Force blue costume.

The best man was Prvt. R. Arbon, and the ceremony was conducted by the Rev. L.C. Roberts, Rector of St. Helen’s. The service included the singing of the hymns “Lead Us, Heavenly Father” and “Love Divine.” Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” was played as the bride and bridegroom left the church. A reception was afterwards held at 20, Ashmere Grove, the home of the bride’s employer. Amongst the numberous gifts received was a canteen of cutlery from the bride’s employer, Mr. Raymond Sneezum, and a coffee table from the staff of Messrs. J.H. Grimwade and Son, Ltd., where the bridegroom was employed before joining the Service.


Probate to Lucy Cole – widow & Harry Walter Cole – brother, a Cooperate Accountant.


A family note:

From Alexander – nephew to Ernie’s wife Lucy:

Captured by Japanese: Ernie was on a troop ship bound for Singapore. Unfortunately they were unaware that Singapore had already fallen and were captured on arrival. Lucy then heard nothing for 2 years until news of Ernie’s death finally reached her. The following is what I gathered from my Auntie Mary: His father had a shop in St. Helen’s St., Ipswich (a watchmaker & jeweller). The family lived round the corner in Foxhall Road. Ernie was working for a certain Mr Sneezum, a widower, in his “pawn shop & men’s outfitters” when he met his future wife. They happened to meet because Lucy was also working for Mr Sneezum at his home where she performed domestic duties & was also looking after the widower’s 2 young daughters, Mary & Juliet. Ernie was a St. John Ambulance man often attending football matches, sports events etc. So, when called up, he was assigned to assist a medical officer in the Royal Norfolks. He died a prisoner of the Japanese, from beri beri due to malnutrition.


Leila Threadkell:

Ernie was my husband Peter’s uncle. Peter’s mother Violet Threadkell (nee Cole was Ernie’s sister. Not only did Violet lose her brother in 1943 but also her husband gunner Victor Threadkell, blown up at sea. Victor too was from Ipswich).


  • My late Grandma was an Emily Cole Her Father was E.E.Cole also a clock/ watchmaker.A clock bearing His name[of East Bergholt it said] hung in the Washbrook Baptist Chapel when it closed in the early 2000s.I would love to track it down.My late Mother spoke about a Walter Cole.

    • Hello David, I don’t have any knowledge of the clock but I can tell you that E.E.Cole was Ernest Edward Cole( 1878-1957)If your grandmother was the Emily Cole who married John Goodchild then he was actually her brother, not her father. Her father was Henry Cole (1846-1922)Henry was also my husband Peter’s great-grandfather, making Ernest and Emily his great uncle and aunt. BTW who was your mother?
      The Cole family came from East Bergholt and I have quite a bit of info’ if you would like it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top