According to the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939,(the war was declared on the 3rd September 1939), Thomas Ellis was born on the 8th July 1910, the son of Mary Jane Ellis, Thomas was a Grocer’s Van Driver and single, and they were living at Old Hall, next to Old Hall Farm, in Wood Lane, Hawarden, his mother Mary Jane Ellis‘s birth date was given as the 4th October 1871 and Mary tells us that she is a Widow, also in the household was Edward H. Ellis, who’s ’s birth date is given as the 18th Jun 1895. I believe that he was Thomas’s brother, he is single and a Loader at the Steel Works.
The 1911 census sees them living at the same address, Old Hall, Wood Lane, Hawarden, but Edward Ellis, 78, Mary Jane’s father, was head of the household, a widower, tells us that he had been married 52 years, 8 children had been born, 2 died – all this was crossed off by the Enumerator but invaluable to family historians!). Mary Jane Ellis, was single and 40 years old, there are 3 Grandchildren in the household, Edward John Hollins*, 20, Single and a Steelworker Firing Boilers, Edward Ellis, 16, single and a Labourer in a Brickyard, Hilda, 6, at school and young Thomas Ellis, age 1.
*Edward John Hollins was the son of Mary Jane’s sister Anne Hollins (nee Ellis). He was to die in WW1, please click on the link to read his story.
I have no idea to Thomas’s life or early years, nor when he enlisted, but he was to find himself in the middle of the war as a Driver for the 53 Inf. Bde. Group Coy. Royal Army Service Corps and as I had no information on this Regiment, I asked the WW2 talk Forum for help and again, they came through with information about Thomas, and for which I am really grateful. Many thanks to them.
Tim tells us – 53rd Brigade Group Company RASC were attached to 53rd Infantry Brigade and formed part of 18th Division. Arrived Singapore 13/01/42 in the “Mount Vernon.”
From National Archives WO 361-1203
Ellis T, T/225171, Driver RASC, WIA (Wounded in action) Bukit Panjang 9/02/42, DOW (Died of wounds) Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Bidadari, same day. Buried TTS Hospital 10/02/42.TD also sent the Gravestone photograph, and the information re Thomas’s reburial, again, many thanks –
From CWGC – Concentrated from Bidadari to Kranji after the war.
NB. Bukit Panjang is on Singapore Island.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Grave Concentration Report tells the story of Thomas’s reburial, please see the form below (War Office Concentration List). This shows that Thomas was probably buried in Badadari Cemetery and then reburied on the 19th October 1946 at Kranji Military Cemetery. It looks as though he was the only one reburied from Badadari.
If anyone can add to Thomas’s story, please get in touch. In any case he was well loved by his family as his name was put forward to be remembered. His family’s inscription on his grave says it all –
“ALL YOU HAD HOPED FOR, ALL YOU HAD, YOU GAVE”