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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Duncan, Ernest William (5495)

Place of Birth: Broken Hill, NSW

Age: 24 years 5 months

Enlistment Details: Thursday, 22 October 1914 – Melbourne, VIC

Service Number: 5495            view online service record

115 Clark Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Next of Kin:
William Field Duncan (father)
115 Clark Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Tuesday, 2 February 1915
Ship: HMAT Chilka A51
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: Light Horse Brigade Train 3 – 3rd Reinforcements

RTA: Thursday, 12 June 1919
Discharged: Wednesday, 20 August 1919

Brother: Archibald Bert Duncan (V80097)

Ernie Duncan and wife Lydia at 195 Clark Street, Port Melbourne. Photograph courtesy of Robyn Watters


  • Robyn Watters
    Posted July 17, 2020 12.45 pm 0Likes

    Ernest William Duncan
    Born12 May 1890 Broken Hill, New South Wales
    Died 5 May 1953 Port Melbourne, Victoria

    Ernie, labourer of Port Melbourne, was the son of William Field Duncan and his wife Sarah Jane Duncan. Ernie was the fourth child out of nine born to that couple. The family came down to Victoria in 1899 and eventually settled in Port Melbourne in 1905 when Ernie was 9 years old. These working-class people rented small cottages around Evans Street, Ross Street and Clark Street for the rest of their lives.

    When Ernie returned from WW1 he re-commenced work as a labourer.

    Ernie was 30 when he married the 41 year old widow Lydia Johanna Stratton in 1920. Lydia brought seven children from her first marriage to Arthur Douglas Davis (circa 1879 – 16 January 1915) and she and Ernie had another three of their own. Instant family life no doubt helped by being brought up in a large family himself.

    The descendants of their second child Lyla Maud Duncan (10 December 1920 – 26 August 2014) are in contact with each other today.

    Ernie appeared well thought of by his siblings. His sister (my grandmother Gertrude Knox Duncan) gave her son the same names. She did however reverse the order of the names to ‘William Ernest’. It is unlikely she would have done this without having a close relationship with Ernie.

    Ernie appeared to have been a product of his time. Modest education, aspirations and a working-class upbringing with attendant struggles but apparently enjoying a happy family life. He clearly made other people happy too.

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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.