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Samuel Ellis

Samuel Ellis was the older son of William and Elizabeth (nee Mercer) Ellis who were married in the Malton area in the last quarter of 1876 and the older brother of George (above him on the memorial). He was born in Old Malton area during the third quarter of 1879.  Fairly soon the Ellises moved to West Heslerton where they were living in 1881.

1881 Census – resident at Sand Lane, West Heslerton
ELLIS, William Jnr, Head, Married, M, 23, Bricklayer, Garton  Yorkshire.  
ELLIS, Elizabeth, Wife, Married, F, 26,  Wife, Old Malton  Yorkshire.
ELLIS, Annie Elizabeth, Daughter, Single, F, 3, West Heslerton  Yorkshire.
ELLIS, Samuel, Son, Single, M, 1, Old Malton Yorkshire.
ELLIS, George, Son, Single, M, 3 months, West Heslerton  Yorkshire.

 By 1891 they had moved to Westgate in Old Malton, quite close to Elizabeths’ parents, William and Ada who also lived on Westgate, probably at 27.

1891 Census – resident in Westgate, Old Malton

ELLIS, William, Head, Widower, M, 33, Foreman Bricklayer, Garton  Yorkshire Driffield

ELLIS, Ann E, Daughter, F, 13,  Scholar, West Heslerton Yorkshire

ELLIS, Samuel, Son, M, 11, Scholar, Old Malton  Yorkshire

ELLIS, George, Son, M, 10,, Scholar, West Heslerton  Yorkshire, ,

ELLIS, Ada, Daughter, F, 7, Scholar, Old Malton Yorkshire

A few years after the death of his wife, William Ellis moved back to East Yorkshire and remarried.  

In 1901 he seems to be staying in Lower Keyford, Frome in Somerset as a boarder with no employment given,

1901 Census resident at 19, Lower Keyford, Frome  Somersetshire

ELLIS, Sam, Boarder, Single, M, 20, 1881, , Walton, Yorkshire

However, fairly shortly he moved to London where in the first quarter of 1903 he married Esther Sarah Cooper in Wandsworth and by 1911 they were resident at 26 Lainson St, Wandsworth, London SW   and had two sons George Henry, born in the third quarter of 1904 and Gordon Cyril, born in the first quarter of 1906.

1911 Census - resident at 26 Lainson St Wandsworth  London SW
ELLIS, Samuel, Head, Married 8 years, M, 32, Labourer, Old Malton Yorkshire,
ELLIS, Esther Sarah, Wife, Married, F, 32, , Wandsworth,
ELLIS, George Henry, Son, , M, 6, School, Southfields Wandsworth,
ELLIS, Gordon Cyril, Son, , M, 5, School, Southfields Wandsworth,

On the 1st March 1915 he volunteered at Kingston–on-Thames, for the duration of the War, in the East Surrey Regiment and was assigned to the 9th Battalion.   

First Name: S  Last Name: Ellis
Unit: East Surrey Regiment  Series:Volunteers, 5th January 1915 - 27th April 1915 Regiment:East Surrey Regiment
Age:36 Years 7 Months  Height:5ft 9.5in. Weight (pounds):168 Chest size (inches):38.75 Chest Expansion (inches):3.25
Occupation:Labourer  Birthplace:Old Malton County:Yorkshire
Attestation date:01 March 1915  Attestation place:Wandsworth Remarks:15 Valvernie Grove Wandsworth

The East Surreys were part of the newly formed 24th Division and the early days were somewhat chaotic, the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them and no organised billets or equipment. It was March 1915 before uniforms arrived and it was not until July until rifles were issued.  The Division moved in June 1915 to Aldershot for final training. Lord Kitchener inspected the Division at Chobham ranges on 19 August and next day it was the turn of King George V. Orders were received on 19 August to move to France and the first units departed one week later. George was sent to France with the B.E.F on 31st August and promoted to Corporal on 17th September.

The Division's first experience was truly appalling. Having been in France for only a few days, lengthy forced marches brought it into the reserve for the British assault at Loos. GHQ planning left it too far behind to be a useful reinforcement on the first day, but it was sent into action on 26 September, whereupon it suffered over 4178 casualties for very little gain.  It was during this carnage that Samuel was reported “missing” which was amended the same day to “died of wounds”, and he is buried at Pont-A-Vendin Communal Cemetery, France. However while this is recorded on some of his papers others give his death that same date but state him to have died in Germany as a Prisoner of War.  This seems unlikely but perhaps indicative of the chaos in which all this took place. The roll of servicemen killed in WW1 gives his date of death as 7th January 1917 which could be compatible with the P.o.W. version of events.