|Roll of Honour|
Mark Ellis was born in Felsted in the summer of 1882. He was the son of Edward Alfred Ellis and Esther Harriett Ellis (nee Rawlinson), who were married in Southwark in 1873. Esther was a native of Stebbing and it seems likely she came back to Felsted to have Mark whilst staying with a family member.
The 1891 census shows the Ellis family living at Hastings where Alfred Ellis worked for the Excise Office.
By 1901, the 18 year old Mark was living as a boarder in Islington and his occupation is listed as Civil Service Clerk.
By the outbreak of world war his occupation is Civil Servant.
Mark’s service record shows he enlisted for service on 1st September 1914 at Hammersmith, and was posted as Private Soldier G/2646, 12th Service Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment on 2nd September 1914.
His medical papers describe him as:
His next of Kin is listed as Edward Alfred Ellis of 12 Melbourne Road, Wimbeldon. Mark never married.
He embarked for France on 25th July 1915 from Southampton.
He was killed in action on 26th September 1916, when the 12th (S) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment were involved in fierce fighting on the Somme battlefield. The battalion had been tasked with assaulting some of the most heavily defended German positions, around Thiepval Chateau.
The Battalion made good progress as they advanced behind a creeping barrage, and quickly overran the German’s front line trenches, but then lost contact with the creeping barrage. The Germans at Thiepval Chateau were able to re-man their positions after the barrage passed and before the Infantry arrived. The British advance stalled under withering machine gun fire until one of the new tanks arrived, allowing the capture of the chateau.
Mark Ellis is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial with thousands of soldiers who fell on the Somme and have no known grave.
By the time the Commonwealth War Graves Commission compiled their records both Mark’s parents were deceased.Mark is not commemorated on any of the village memorials.