Son of James and Annie Gall of East Sheen.
Ernest began his career in the Stock Bank in Nottingham before moving to Barnard Castle in 1905. Here he worked as a cashier in Barclays from 1905 up until the time he enlisted in 1914; he spent a short period at the Richmond branch in 1912.
He was highly esteemed by his colleagues.
In August 1914 Ernest was drafted to the Army Pay Department at Aldershot.
He was a keen member of the Barnard Castle District Shooting Club and was made Sergeant in the Battalion King's Royal Rifles in September, just a month after enlisting.