Ernest Alfred Clephane was born on 18 Apr 1870, a son of Andrew Clephane and his wife Eliza Catherine Green. He was one of eleven children and the twin of Ethel Harriett. He was indentured to John Todd Farmilo on 15 May 1886 for five years as a bricklayer. He was employed on the construction of the Albert Hall, the Duck Reach Power Station and 'Waterton Hall' among other projects. In August 1896 he left to work in South Africa, where he remained for four years.
Ernest married Susan Burston on 12 Mar 1902. He was employed by Charles Adams & Sons as a foreman of bricklayers from 1900 to 1912. He was later employed by J & T Gunn as a bricklaying contractor, working on the construction of the Majestic and National Theatres, Ludbrooks and the Rapson Chimney. Ernest was a member of St John's Masonic Lodge, a supporter of the City Football Club and a canary fancier. Susan died aged 57 on 21 Mar 1931 and Ernest died aged 66 on 7 Mar 1937. They were buried beside each other at Carr Villa in Section E2 Nos 186 and 185 respectively. See The Examiner 15 Apr 2006, p.30.