Samuel Ellis was the son of James and Mary Ellis (nee Peers) of 118 Liverpool Rd. The family was living at Ewloe Place in 1911 with father James 49, a stationary engine man, mother Mary 42, and children Ida 18, Samuel 16 (lasting on in colliery underground), Joseph 15, James 12, John William 10, Annie 8, Wilfred 7, Charlotte 4, Mary 1. Samuel served in A Company, Machine Gun Section, 16th RWF.
From Samuel’s nephew, Christopher Humphreys:
I have several letters at home which were written from France at the time, together with letters written by my uncle when in training and in France. One is from another Buckley man and in his letter, dated 11th, he refers to “hearing last night Sam was a little better last night”. I then have a letter, dated 13th, from the chaplain of the Casualty Clearing Station in which he says my uncle passed away on the Saturday night but gives no date. He then says he was buried on the 12th. I rather think now that the accident in which he was wounded may have happened on the 10th and he died on the 11th – certainly Friday was the 10th, Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th.
I have details of the accident in the form a letter, written on 11th March, by 19533 by W, Davison who, it would appear, survived the war. In the letter he says, “we were all on fatigue duty when Sam & a few more chaps came across an old rifle grenade, naturally they took it to be harmless, but by them handling it, it exploded & wounded five of them. Sam had three wounds, one in the stomach, one in his left breast & the other under his arm”. W. Davison, another Buckley lad, I9526 T. Iball*, who did not survive the conflict and who wrote a letter of condolence to the family, and my uncle appear to have enlisted together. I attach the photograph of the original grave – upon enlarging it, the date of death is seen to be 11/03/16.
The following is an extract from an article in The Chronicle, dated 1st April, 1916, on the death of my uncle.
Pte Ellis was 21 years of age and worked at the Elm Colliery before he enlisted. He was a Sunday School Scholar of the Congregational Church where a memorial service will be held. He was respected by his fellow scholars and he was equally respected by his comrades in France and, as the writer of the sad news said, “he cared for nothing in the way of warfare”. The memorial service was held last Sunday at the Congregational Church. The Rev D. Evans (Pastor) preached a powerful sermon. The service was impressive throughout. After the sermon the hymn, “God Bless Our Native Land” and the National Anthem were sung and after the Benediction and Vesper Hymn the organist (Mr. John Davies) played the Dead March, the congregation standing’.
* Thomas Iball was killed in action 24 Oct 1917 near Ypres and is commemorated at Tyne Cot and on these pages
Samuel is remembered on the family grave at St. Matthew’s.
In loving memory of
The beloved husband of
Of Liverpool Road
Entered into rest March 7th 1926
Aged 64 years
Lord all pitying, Jesu blest
Grant them Thine eternal rest
RIGHT HAND SIDE
Also in loving memory of Mary
The beloved wife of the aforementioned
Who died May 23rd 1937
Aged 64 years
And earth has ne’er so dear a spot
As where I meet with thee
Also of Samuel
Their beloved son
Who died of wounds in France March 11th 1916
Aged 21 years
Greater love hath no man than this,
That he gave up his life for his friends