Ernest Charles Godfrey Hampton was born at Dalton, in Lancashire, England, in January 1884 to parents William Hampton and Jane Brown Hampton (née Grigg), He was the third born child, among three daughters and ten sons.
Hampton emigrated to Australia with his parents and brother on the John Elder, arriving in Australia on 29 November 1884; his eleven other siblings were born in Australia between 1886 and 1905.
At enlistment in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) Hampton recorded his occupation as musician; it appears he was playing the cornet from an early age, with a performance at the Bendigo Sunday School Anniversary concert in May 1900. Hampton served in the 5th Battery Victorian Infantry at Bendigo for several months prior to enlistment.
Hampton enlisted in the AIF at Ascot Vale, Victoria, on 10 March 1916, under the name Godfrey Hampton. He was attached to the 1st Reinforcements for the 1st Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, with the rank of 2nd Air Mechanic. He embarked from Melbourne for Egypt on the troopship Orsova on 16 March 1916. During the voyage to Egypt, Hampton participated in a concert held on 8 April, performing a cornet solo “The Sunshine of your smile”.
Hampton disembarked at Suez, Egypt, on 14 April 1916 and was attached to Aircraft Park at Abassia. Within a week of his arrival Hampton was admitted to hospital with enteritis and later transferred to the Australian Convalescent Depot in Cairo, returning to his unit on 22 May 1916. In December Hampton was again hospitalised until discharged to his unit in February 1917. A further period of hospitalisations occurred in June 1917 for treatment of eczema and in August 1917 for tonsillitis. From 17 April to 5 June 1918 Hampton was in hospital with diarrhoea. On 29 August 1918 Hampton contracted malaria and was again in hospital until 9 October 1918. Within two weeks of his release from hospital, Hampton was admitted for further hospital treatment with bronchitis, and while in hospital he contracted typhus fever and became dangerously ill, remaining in hospital until late February 1919.
Hampton embarked from Suez for Australia on the troopship Kildonian Castle on 1 April 1919 and disembarked in Melbourne on 7 May 1919. He was discharged, medically unfit, on 28 September 1919.
Hampton married Emily Gertrude Carrick in 1920 and the couple had five children, three sons and two daughters. Hampton continued as a musician until his death, residing for most of his life at Surrey Hills, Victoria.
Ernest Charles Godfrey Hampton died at Lilydale, Victoria, on 26 May 1956 at the age of 72 . Emily Hampton died at Carlton, Victoria in 1949.