Topic: Ernest Rudolf Lovell (1895-1915)

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Tauranga man Ernest Rudolf Lovell was using the pseudonym 'James West' when he died of wounds he received at Gallipoli in 1915.

Ernest Rudolf Lovell was born on 3 June 1895 (reg. 1895/16181). His parents were Mark and Emily Jane Lovell (nee Gribble) who married in 1886 (reg. 1886/250).

Ernest married Eva Beaumont Sims on 17 April 1914 (reg. 1914/8685). They had one child together:

  1. Rudolph William Lovell (1914). He was born on 23 October 1914 (reg. 1914/25582). When his mother remarried in 1918 it appears his name changed to Lovell-Christoffersen. He married Marie Elizabeth (1913-2002). Rudolph died in 1997 (reg. 1997/42371).

In Melbourne, on 7 September 1914, Ernest joined the Australian Army under the name 'James West' (Service Number: 207). He was 20 years old. Ernest served with the 2nd Field Company, Australian Engineers.

Ernest made a will on 23 April 1915: 'In the event of my death I give the whole of my property and effects to Mrs E. J. Lovell, 34 Munroe Street, Napier, Hawkes Bay'. Signed by Sapper James West.

On 29 March 1916 Ernest's mother must surely have been in shock when she wrote the following letter to the Australian Defence Department :

Having just received the personal effects of the late No 207, Sapper J. West - 2nd F. C, Engineers, and not having any previous notice of his death, I would be very grateful to your dept for any information that you can give me. The correct name of deceased is "E. R. Lovell," who is my son. "J. West" being an assumed name which has made it difficult for us to gain information of him.

I particularly wish to know date of death, where he died, and where buried, or any information of his wishes as to the disposal of his bank accounts, that is, his back pay, which he refers to in his memorandum book - that is in parcel just received.

He has left a wife and young child in New Zealand and if there is any hope of any provision being made for them by your dept, I would be very pleased to be able to let her know. If there is any form to fill in, kindly let me have it. I am very anxious that they should be provided for.

Awaiting any early reply, yours respectfully, Emily Jane Lovell.

Ernest had died at sea ten months earlier, on 28 May 1915, from wounds in the brain and arm received during action at Gallipoli. He was a patient aboard the Hospital Ship Gascon which was situated between the island of Imbros and Gaba Tepe (Kabatepe) at the time. 

'James West' was also the name engraved on his 1914-1915 Star as a letter to his mother dated 29 December 1920 records: It is regretted your suggestion for deceased's correct name to be engraved on the medal cannot be complied with as the instructions governing this matter require that the name under which the soldier fought and died is be inscribed'.

Ernest is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey.

Eva remarried to Alfred Oliver Christoffersen (1889-1960) in 1918 (reg. 1918/1306). They had three children together: Olive, Alf and Alec. Eva died in 1976 (reg. 1976/51892).



Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Record (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Fiona Kean (Tauranga Heritage Collection).

National Archives of Australia (personnel record).

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Ernest Rudolf Lovell (1895-1915)

Note:Service Number: 207
First Names:Ernest Rudolf
Last Name:Lovell
Date of Birth:3 June 1895
Place of Birth:Tauranga
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:28 May 1915
Place of death:Gallipoli, Turkey
Place of burial:Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Occupation:Engineer and Fitter & Turner
Spouses name:Eva Beaumont Sims
Spouses date of birth:14 July 1895
Spouses date of death:1976
Date of marriage:1914
Fathers name:Mark Lovell
Fathers date of birth:1859
Fathers date of death:1935
Fathers place of death:Napier, New Zealand
Mothers name:Emily Jane Gribble
Mothers date of birth:1863
Mothers place of birth:Auckland, New Zealand
Mothers date of death:1942
Mothers place of death:Napier, New Zealand
Name of sibilings:Victoria Florance Elizabeth Lovell (1898-1971), Herbert Cecil Garfield Lovell (1899-1966), Emily Evangeline Lovell (1887-1966), Mark Wesley Lovell (1888-1933), Daisy Minna Lovell (1889-1889), Olive Elsie Ellen Lovell (1891), and James Kenneth Lovell (1897-1900)
Name of the children:Rudolph William Lovell
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)