Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
19 Aug 1916
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
Soldier or Civilian
Lutonian Pte Ernest Arthur Pestell, 2428, Australian Infantry, died in a Stationary Hospital in France on August 19th, 1916, from wounds sustained in action on the Somme.
Hospital Chaplain the Rev E. Milner White wrote to his mother then living in City Road, East London: "He passed away quietly and very suddenly. I was with him to the end. His system could not throw off the poison in his wound. He was buried in the lovely cemetery of Abbeville with military honours and church service." He added that a cross already stood upon his grave, and French ladies had laid flowers there.
Born in Luton early in 1886, he was a son of London-born William Henry Pestell (died early 1916) and his Lutonian wife Annie Elizabeth, who in 1891 were living at 128 High Town Road, Luton. Ernest and his parents were lodging in Edmonton, London, by 1901.
A Luton News report said he enlisted at the beginning of the war in the 28th Battery (Australian Artillery) in Melbourne, where he had been living. He was a nephew of Thomas and Emily Ellis, of 111 High Town Road, Luton.
Elder brother Frederick William was also killed in action - on April 28th, 1917. He was married and still living in Luton and had several children.