Born at Bag Enderby, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, Ernest was 21 years old when he died. He was the son of William Southwell Brown and Elizabeth Brown. He was a miller by trade and he lived with his Uncle, Mr. B. Flintoff of Stockwith Mill Hagworthingham. It was not, however, until October 29th 1915 that Ernestís company commander, Lieut. W. Hayward, wrote to his Father advising of his sons death. From his letter we see that 2 of Ernestís comrades gave their own lives in attempting to rescue him.
After enlisting at Spilsby in September 1914, Ernest found himself drafted into the 7th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment, a Kitchener's Battalion. The Regiment, formed at Lincoln, was part of the 51st Brigade of the 17th Northern Division. This division comprised of units from the Midlands, The North of England and Dorset. Having received orders to move overseas advance parties of the division left Southampton on the 6th July 1915, the remainder of the division beginning its embarkation for France 6 days later. It concentrated south of St. Omer before being located South West of Ypres on the 19th July. Instruction in trench warfare soon began, the division finally seeing its first action on the 9th August 1915, when the British attacked the village of Hooge on the Ypres-Menin Road. The 7th Lincolns remained in the Ypres area until the end of 1915. Enemy action was more vigorous in this part of the line; German snipers and trench mortars were causing constant annoyance and loss.
Ernest met his fate on the 22nd October 1915 when a shell, bursting near his dug out, caused it to collapse. Ernest was buried, and by the time his colleagues reached him, he had died from suffocation.