Gerald Edgar Ellis

Gerald Edgar Ellis was born in Preston, Rutland, in 1898, the third son of William Lingard Ellis of Kelstern in the Lincolnshire Wolds and his wife, Sarah Louisa Ellis nee Wood, from Scottlethorpe near Bourne. Gerald and Sarah had eight children, seven sons and a daughter.

The census return of 1901 recorded the family living in Preston, where William was employed as a police constable. Ten years later the family had moved to Rearsby in Leicestershire. William, no longer in the police force, worked locally as a farm labourer along with his two eldest sons, and as soon as he was old enough, Gerald joined them as a labourer.

Gerald enlisted in the army at Leicester in August 1915. His attestation papers recorded his age as just under 20 but in reality, he was only 16 years old and had lied about his age. At the time of enlistment Gerald was still living in Rearsby, however, shortly afterwards the Ellis family moved to Goadby Marwood where Gerald’s father, William, found lodging and employment at Bellemere Farm.

Gerald was posted to the 8th (Service) Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, joining them in the field in March 1916. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in May 1917 and he would likely have seen action in a number of Allied operations including the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, and the retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the Arras offensive and the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.

Gerald was killed in action on 1st October, 1917, during the Battle of Polygon Wood. He is believed to have been killed by sniper fire at the same time as Sergeant Albert Essery.

Gerald is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial near Zonnebeke in Belgium. He is also remembered on the war memorial inside St. Michael and All Angels' Church in Rearsby, the village in which he spent his teenage years. Gerald was awarded the British War and Victory medals together with a commemorative scroll which were sent to his parents at Bellemere Farm.

Two of Gerald's brothers fought during The First World War. Eldest brother, Aubrey, served with the Coldstream Guards. Following the war he joined the police force eventually becoming a Police Inspector with Lincolnshire Constabulary. Second eldest, Robert, served with the 8th Leicestershire Regiment.

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Bellemere Farm in Goadby Marwood where the Ellis family lived during WW1

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CWGC Memorial - Gerald Edgar Ellis

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Gerald Edgar Ellis

To learn more about the individual soldiers of Goadby Marwood who gave their lives for their country follow the links below:

Herbert Scarborough KIA 22 Aug 1915

Harry Bottrill KIA 11 Mar 1916

Cecil Thomas Foister KIA 03 May 1917

William Henry Pizer KIA 17 Aug 1917

Albert Edward Essery KIA 01 Oct 1917

Gerald Edgar Ellis KIA 01 Oct 1917

Harry Armstrong KIA 15 Jul 1916

John Thomas Pears DIED 02 Sep 1918

The War Memorial in St. Michael and All Angels' Church, Rearsby