Ernest Edward Stubbington
19th Company (Chester) Royal Army Medical Corps.
War Plot Division 71 & 72
Ernest Stubbington was the husband of Catherine H. Stubbington, of 58, Brickfield Road, Portswood, Southampton.
Ernest Stubbington died on 12th July 1917, aged 37. He took his own life and the Reading Standard published the following information.
Standard July 14th 1917
“Earnest Stubbington R.A.M.C. stationed at Whalley, was on Thursday found dead on the line at Reading. His head was shockingly injured. An inquest will be held today (Saturday)”
Standard July 21st 1917
Ernest Stubbington, aged 37 years, a Private in the R.A.M.C., had been married for 18 years and had 6 children. He was “described by his widow and his military officer as being of jovial disposition, and getting on well with his work”. “He committed suicide on the railway line last week”. He was called up for military service on May 15th last, and was engaged in office work in Whalley. Granted 4 days leave, and a pass from Saturday to Tuesday, he went home to Southampton. He left there Monday morning in order to join his unit by Tuesday midnight.
On Tuesday his wife received the following letter, bearing the post mark Paddington, 3.15:-
Dear Wife, – My heart fails me to return to prison life, as you are so rotten towards me, and I know that I shall only be a nuisance to you in a month or so, as I am telling you the truth-I am going blind in one eye-I am going to quit this earth tonight and I shall lay my head down to rest and peace. That is what has been worrying me so, and end it I will tonight, so you will be free now, and I only hope the children will get cared for by someone better than me. You can have your fling now….So farewell all, and the best of luck to you; you have never understood me so its best. Good bye.!”
The body was found on Thursday morning on the line from Reading to Paddington near Woodley Bridge. The back part of the skull had been torn away. In one of his pockets a piece of paper , bearing the pencilled words “Only a nuisance”.
A verdict of premeditated suicide was returned. The widow said her husband had been depressed for about 12 months, though for no particular reason. He had complained of bad eyesight and also of his heart. She couldn’t account for the tone of the letter, there was no reason to refer to her in that way. She did not think he had friends in Reading or that he had been “carrying on” with other women. The Quarter Master at Whalley spoke well of his military character.