Ernest was born at Lamplough near Avoca, Victoria, on 28 November 1878. He was the youngest of 13 children. Five had died before he was born. Ernest's father was a miner, aged 50, born in Liverpool. Caroline, his mother was aged 43 and her birthplace was given as Sydney (on the birth certificates of other children her birthplace had been given as Tumut, New South Wales). Caroline was the informant of the birth registration at Avoca on 19 December 1878.
Ernest's mother Caroline died a year later on 17 December 1879. George did not remarry. Ernest probably grew up at Lamplough, cared for by his father and his older brothers and sisters.
Ernest's first first wife was Mary Shea (1873 - 1920). They married in 1906 at Maryborough. On his marriage certificate he called himself Ernest. They had no children.
On 9 February 1916 Ernest enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. He gave his age as 36 years two months. He was a railway employee. His next of kin was his wife Mrs Mary Young. Her address was Kirkham Road, Dandenong, Victoria. He was 5'8" tall and had dark hair. He was assigned to the 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion and sailed overseas in June 1916. (National Archives of Australia: B2455: Young Ernest James : SERN 348 : POB Lamplough VIC : POE Melbourne VIC : NOK W Young Mary )
In June 1917 Ernest was gassed, but was returned to the field. He later suffered various illnesses, some probably as a result of his gas injuries: German measles, scabies, myalgia, debility. He rejoined his unit in October 1918 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 9 November 1918. He returned to Australia in 1919 and was discharged in July 1919.
Ernest's wife Mary died on 20 December 1920.
|Family Notices (1920, December 23). South Bourke and Mornington Journal (Richmond, Vic. : 1872 - 1920), , p. 2 (WEEKLY.). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66199375|
On 24 May 1921 Ernest remarried. His second wife was Emma Jane Jesson née Trewin (1880 - 1954), a divorcee. She had obtained a divorce in 1913 on the grounds of desertion from James Henry Jesson. Emma had custody of the three children from her first marriage.
Ernest and Emma had a son, Ernest William George Young born 1922 who died 1993 leaving no children.
Ernest died 5 January 1942 age 63 of chronic nephritis and heart failure. His occupation on his death certificate was retired builder.
One of his death notices remembered all his brothers and sisters, even the infant George Young who had died in 1853, nearly 90 years earlier.
|Family Notices (1942, January 6). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8226186|
|Obituary (1942, January 7). The Dandenong Journal (Vic. : 1927 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215706875|
Emma died in 1954.
|Mrs. Emma J. Young (1954, November 3). The Dandenong Journal (Vic. : 1927 - 1954), p. 24. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218513675|