Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Ernest Albert Brigden

In memory of:

Private Ernest Albert Brigden

June 2, 1916

Military Service


Service Number:

475438

Age:

38

Force:

Army

Unit:

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regt.)

Additional Information


Born:

April 27, 1878

Son of Charles Stephen and Catherine Brigden.

Commemorated on Page 58 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

Panel 10

Location:


The Menin Gate Memorial is situated at the eastern side of the town of Ypres (now Ieper) in the Province of West Flanders, on the road to Menin and Courtrai. It bears the names of 55,000 men who were lost without trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient in the First World War. Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and erected by the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission, it consists of a Hall of Memory", 36.6 metres long by 20.1 metres wide. In the centre are broad staircases leading to the ramparts which overlook the moat, and to pillared loggias which run the whole length of the structure. On the inner walls of the Hall, on the side of the staircases and on the walls of the loggias, panels of Portland stone bear the names of the dead, inscribed by regiment and corps. Carved in stone above the central arch are the words:


TO THE ARMIES OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE WHO STOOD HERE FROM 1914 TO 1918 AND TO THOSE OF THEIR DEAD WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE.

Over the two staircases leading from the main Hall is the inscription:

HERE ARE RECORDED NAMES OF OFFICERS AND MEN WHO FELL IN YPRES SALIENT BUT TO WHOM THE FORTUNE OF WAR DENIED THE KNOWN AND HONOURED BURIAL GIVEN TO THEIR COMRADES IN DEATH.

The dead are remembered to this day in a simple ceremony that takes place every evening at 8:00 p.m. All traffic through the gateway in either direction is halted, and two buglers (on special occasions four) move to the centre of the Hall and sound the Last Post. Two silver trumpets for use in the ceremony are a gift to the Ypres Last Post Committee by an officer of the Royal Canadian Artillery, who served with the 10th Battery, of St. Catharines, Ontario, in Ypres in April 1915."

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Circumstances of Death Registers– Source: Library and Archives Canada.  CIRCUMSTANCES OF DEATH REGISTERS FIRST WORLD WAR Surnames: Brabant to Britton. Mircoform Sequence 13; Volume Number 131829_B016722; Reference RG150, 1992-93/314, 157 Page 693 of 906
  • Memorial– Inscription on the Menin Gate … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of Ernest Albert Brigden– The caption on the photo says:
Catherine is seated   next to her step-son Ernie with sister Emma
standing behind them.   Catherine was the mother of Clara Agnes Brigden,
wife of John James Kimberley.   She was born in 1848 in Westmeath,
Renfrew County and died in Arnprior in 1903.
Ernie was born in Arnprior in 1875 and was killed June 02, 1916 at
Ypres, Belgium, during a huge attack by the German Army.   He was a
member of the PPCLI, Eastern Ontario Regiment

Article Arnprior Chronical
No better soldier ever left Canada than Ernest Brigden, a former Arnprior boy, who enlisted at Montreal with the University Corps reinforcementts of the famous Princess Pats.   He tried to enlist early in the war and was prevented by varicose veins in one leg; he was determined to go, however, and he submitted to a critical operation and then came to Arnprior to say good-bye, happy that he was about to witness the realization of his dreams.   To The Chronicle he said that his father and grandfather were British veterans and he could not allow the present generation to be unrepresented in this greatest of all struggles.   He showed The Chronicle a little streak of red where the troublesome vein was and he remarked "it cost a lot of pain and some money but I'll make the Kaiser pay for it all."   Now he sleeps 'neath the sod of Flanders; he was killed in action when the Princess Pats made their heroic stand at Ypres on June 3'd and all who knew him will feel a pang of regret that this strong, square-set, big-hearted young man is no more.

This clipping from a June 1916 edition of The Chronicle of Arnprior, Ontario,   was found among the papers of Ernest Brigden's nephew, Ken Kimberley, who passed away June 1, 2002.   Ernest Brigden's name is on the War Memorial in Arnprior, misspelled as Ernest Bridgen.   The Legion has been approached about correcting the error but the President says "no money is available".
  • Family Photo– Photo shows (L to R): Ernest Albert Brigden (son), Martha Mabel Brigden (daughter), Charles Stephen Brigden (father),William George Brigden (son), Emma Brigden (daughter).   Possibly taken on Charles' 80th or, more likely, his 85th birthday, 1908 or 1913.  The photo was taken in Montreal.  Charles Stephen Brigden is likely wearing the Crimean War Medal and Clasp for Sebastopol and a medal from the Turkish Government, also for service in the Crimean War.  (Catherine Brigden, granddaughter of William, identified the people and the location and, also, provided the photograph.)
  • Inscription on Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial

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