Ernest George Fitt

Ernest George Fitt was killed in action on the Somme aged 24 on Thursday 30 September 1915 while serving with the 7th Bn., Bedfordshire Regiment, and is buried at Dartmoor Cemetery in the village of Bécordel-Bécourt.

Ernest was born in 1891 at Hertingfordbury. He was the son of Joseph and Ann Fitt, who were married in Ann’s home village in Devon in 1883 and had nine children. Joseph was, like his father before him, a gardener.

In 1891 the family were living at Birchall (nowadays just outside the eastern edge of Welwyn Garden City), and in 1901 at Reigate. By 1911 Joseph and Ann were living at The Frythe Gardens, Welwyn, with a daughter and three sons, not including Ernest – who at the age of 21 was living and working at Danesbury as a domestic gardener. Joseph and Ann were both born in 1857 and died in 1939 aged 81. Their headstone is in the new churchyard, as are three other Fitt family headstones.

Three other Fitts were in the army and survived. Their names were among the 27 on a wooden plaque formerly fixed to the gable end of the cottage across the lane from here, nowadays called St. Peter’s Spinney. Those listed lived on the Wilshere Estate or were otherwise connected with The Frythe and served in the forces.

When Ernest died in 1915 his parents were still living at The Frythe Gardens. His father Joseph (then aged three) had been living there with his parents in 1861.