William Henry Ellison

Private S/29664, Private, then Acting Corporal, Army Service Corps

Army Service Corps cap badge, WW1
Army Service Corps cap badge, WW1

William Ellison is one of the men whose names appear on the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 Servicemen.

Family background

William Henry Ellison was born in 1894 at Daybrook, Nottingham, the son of John Henry Ellison (born in 1869 in Gamston, near Nottingham; died 17th March 1938). His mother was Mary Ann Ellison (neé King, born in 1870 at Eagle, Lincolnshire; died 8th August, 1938).

By 1901, they had come to live in Bottesford, where John Ellison worked as a miller’s carter. Their’s was the 33rd house on High Street. There were three children, Elizabeth (aged 11), Emily (9) and William Henry (7): Elizabeth and Emily were both born on Bottesford, but William was born at Daybrook.

In 1911, Mary and John Henry were living at the first house on Grantham Road (possibly the house next to the village school), living with Mary’s father William King, a 69 year old retired coal dealer. Curiously, John Henry was recorded in the 1911 census as Mary’s brother-in-law, rather than her husband as stated in 1901. Frustratingly, their census record from 1891 (when their first child Elizabeth had been born) has not been located, and as a result it has not been possible to resolve the question of the true relationship between Mary Ann and John Henry.

William Ellison has left home and joined the army by 1911.

Service record

The earliest information we have of William Ellison’s military service comes from the 1911 census. All three of the children had left home by 1911. William Henry was already in the Army, his age given as 18 (though he may still have been 17). He was stationed at Buller Barracks Area 5 (Stanhope Lines), Aldershot, a Private in the Army Service Corps. He had given his trade as that of a butcher.

He was awarded a Silver Badge, No.B344478, on the 15th December 1919 . The record tells us that he had enlisted on the 11th February 1911, and was discharged fro the army after the end of the war on the 28th August, 1919, due to ‘sickness’ during ‘overseas service’. No further detail is provided, but it may be curious that he should have been given a Silver Badge over a year after the armistice.

His Medal Index Card indicates that he was Private S/29664, Private, then Acting Corporal, Army Service Corps.

After the end of the war

He married Rose Greensmith in 1921, in Nottingham.

Electoral Rolls indicate that a Willliam Henry Ellison and Mary Ellison lived at 35 Back Mason Street, Derby, at least from 1921 to 1927. Mary may have been his mother, though his wife is not named on the rolls. However, it is not entirely certain that this is the same William Ellison. He was not found in the 1939 Register.

The date of his death is also uncertain. It may have been in June 1973, in Nottingham (when he would have been 82), but there is another possible record from Rushcliffe, in June 1986 (when he would have been 93). That of his wife, Rose, is also uncertain. The only recorded death from the East Midlands was for Rose Alice Ellison, born 11th March 1895, who died in 1982 at Newark, but there is no certainty that she was William Ellison’s wife.

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