Other names: Ernest Willie
Locations in this story: Semley, WiltshireMesopotamiaBaghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Baghdad, IraqGutch Common, Semley, WiltshireSt. Leonard's Church, SemleySt. John the Baptist Church, Donhead St. Mary with Charlton, Six Bells, Abertillery, MonmouthshireNewport, MonmouthshireBaghdad, Iraq
Story: Ernest Willie Viney was born in Semley, Wiltshire, in 1882 and baptised there on 29th November, 1882. He was the son of William Viney, a General Labourer, and Sarah Viney (nee Haines). In 1901 he enlisted on 12th June, 1901, for a six year engagement with the 3rd Battalion of the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire) Regiment (Service No. 6645). On the 2nd February, 1904 he married Annie Gumbleton at St. John the Baptist Church, Donhead St. Mary with Charlton. At the time of the 1911 Census he was a Reserve Soldier and had moved with his family to 77 Arael Street, Six Bells, Abertillery, Monmouthshire where he was employed as an underground hitcher in the local coal mine. His parents were living at Gutch Common, Semley, Wiltshire. By 1915 the couple had 7 children: 3 boys and 4 girls. He re-joined the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire) Regiment at Newport, Monmouthshire on 14th September, 1914 (Service No. 950). On 7th June, 1916, he transferred to the Military Police Corps (Service No. P/11523). He served in Mesopotamia and at the time of his death held the rank of Lance Corporal. He was admitted to the Isolation Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, on 1st March, 1918, suffering from smallpox. He died there on 12th March 1918 and was buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Baghdad, Iraq (grave id. XVI.K.4). He was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He is remembered on the Semley War Memorial in St. Leonard's churchyard, and on the Roll of Honour inside the church. His name was included on the Baptist Chapel plaque, now also in the church. His wife received a widows pension of the equivalent of £1.47p. for herself and three of her children.