Male portrait placeholder image

Name: Ernest Scarce

Burial Number: 1348

Gender: Male

Occupation: Dairyman;

Born: 00/00/1881

Died: 22/05/1928

Buried: 25/05/1928

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The life of Ernest Scarce has a tragic ending. He was born in Brighton in 1881 and followed the occupation of his father, John, who was a dairyman. Ernest’s mother was Louisa Ann, née Green and Ernest was 7 months old in the 1881 Census, living at 41, Queen’s Gardens.  By 1891 they had moved to 17, Park Crescent Road, Brighton.

The 1901 Census could not be found but by 1911 Ernest was newly married to Annie Elizabeth née Thornton and living at 17, Rowlands Road, Worthing. He was considered to be a jovial man, “one of the best”.

He went into partnership with Harold Fuente in 1914. Fuente had been in business since 1896 and was the founder of one of the largest dairy firms in the district. While Fuente was serving abroad in WWI Ernest carried on the business at 33, Rowlands Road and on his return apparently Fuente took no further part in the business.

In 1928 allegations of fraud were brought against Fuente & Scarce. Described as “a  deliberate, calculated and gigantic fraud on the public” it consisted of ordinary milk being falsely sold as “certified”, that is free of TB.

Harold Fuente and Ernest Scarce were summoned to a special sitting of the Worthing Police Court on Tuesday, 22 May 1928. After the adjournment for lunch. Ernest did not return for the afternoon session. He was discovered at his home at 17, Rowlands Road, naked, face down in water in his bath, a box of stationery, weighing about 60 lbs, on the back of his neck.

His wife, at the inquest, said he had been very depressed and unable to sleep. The verdict was suicide whilst of unsound mind. Although he took his own life, he was buried at Heene Cemetery.

N.B. Burial, without ritual was allowed after 1832 and, with ritual, after the 1880 Burial Act. Ernest had no reason to commit fraud for his Probate announcement showed that he left a re-sworn estate of £17610 1s 3d to his widow.

Harold Fuente was cleared of all knowledge of any fraudulent dealings going on and the case was dismissed.

Researcher: Angela Levy

The Grave

Photograph of headstone for Ernest Scarce

Location in Cemetery

Area: NWS Row: 8 Plot: 1

Exact Location (what3words): free.rising.baked

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


To the memory of Ernest James Scarce passed over 22nd May 1928 aged 47 "With Christ which is much better" And of his wife Annie Elizabeth passed over 30th Nov 1937 aged 47

Further Information


Name: Ernest James Scarce

Gender: Male

Born: 00/00/1881

Town: Brighton

County: Sussex

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: //1911

Spouse First Name: Annie

Spouse Second Name: Elizabeth

Spouse Last Name: Thornton

Town of Marriage: Worthing

County of Marriage: Sussex

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 22/05/1928

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 2: 17

Address line 3: Rowlands Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £17610 1 s 3 d

Current value of effects: Not calculated

Census Information


41, Queen’s Gardens, Brighton

John Scarce, 33, head, master dairyman; Louisa Scarce, 28, wife; Honner(sic) Scarce, 10, daughter, scholar; John Scarce, 7, son, scholar; Ernest Scarce, 7 months, son;


17, Park Crescent Place, Brighton

John Scarce, 44, fireman, R E D ?; Louisa Scarce, 38, wife; Honor Scarce, 21, daughter, shop assistant; John Scarce, 19 son, jockey?; Ernest Scarce, 10, son, scholar; William Scarce, 8, son, scholar; Ada Scarce, 5, daughter, Louie? Scarce, 2, daughter;


17, Rowlands Road, Worthing

Ernest James Scarce, 29, head, dairyman; Annie Elizabeth Scarce, 28, wife, dairywoman; Elizabeth Thornton, 50, mother-in-law, widow

plus 2 servants

Miscellaneous Information

No miscellaneous information is available for this burial record.