Williams, Ellis

If you can add any information about this soldier, please use the comment form at the bottom of this page.

If you would like to be informed of any additions or amendments to The Great War Project, please join our Facebook group.

The Great War Project navigation

Overview   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   W

Ellis Williams

2857, Shoeing Smith, Royal Field Artillery
Died of illness, 15 June 1916, aged 53
Buried at Glanwydden Cemetery, Llangystennin

Not an official war-grave

Ellis Williams, the son of David and Ann Williams was born in Llangystennin in 1864. The Census for 1871 describes David Williams as a blacksmith; the family lived at “Yr Efail”, Llangystennin. In 1888, Ellis Williams married Margaret Owen. The 1891 Census records the couple living with two children in Madoc Street, Llandudno. Later addresses included Alexandra Road, Church Walks and Taliesin Street. The Census of 1911 records that Margaret Ellis had had ten children, three having died. The other seven children still lived with their parents and included William David (22) and Ellis J (18 – qv), the latter also losing his life during the First World War.

The following letter appeared in a newspaper in April 1915:

“Sir, — The response of the men of Wales to the appeal addressed to them to enlist for the defence of their King and Country has been most gratifying. The 43rd Welsh Division of the Welsh Army Corps (later redesignated 38th Welsh Infantry Division) is now fully formed, and except in one important respect is complete. The exception is, we regret to say, The Artillery.
“The Organisation of this Army was only begun a short time ago. It is now complete. One Brigade of four Batteries already fully formed. More men are required to complete the remaining 3 Brigades of 4 Batteries each.
“It is a well known fact that it takes longer to train an Artillery man than an Infantry soldier. We would, therefore, ask you to give prominence to this letter, in order that the 43rd Welsh Division may go to the front at the earliest possible moment in all respects complete.
“For Gunners men of sufficient education are wanted, and for Drivers men who are accustomed to horses. A large proportion of tradesmen such as shoeing smiths, fitters, and leather workers, as saddlers are also required.”

It is possible that Ellis may have responded to such an appeal for he joined the Royal Field Artillery as a shoeing smith with a regimental number of 2857. His brigade and battery is unknown though the 119th to 122nd Brigades were attached to the 38th (Welsh) Division. He was discharged as unfit on 21 October 1915.

Ellis Williams died of heart failure caused by vascular disease of the heart on 15 June 1916 aged 53 at “Alexandra Villa”, Trevor Street, Llandudno. His aforementioned son, William David Williams was present at the death. It is believed that his wife, Margaret, died at around the same time. Both Ellis and Margaret were buried in the same grave as their son, Ellis J Williams, who had been buried in January 1917 at Glanwydden Cemetery, Llangystennin. Because Ellis’ (senior) death had not been deemed attributable to service causes, then he is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission though the grave itself is commemorated through his son.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Capel Tabernacl, Upper Mostyn Street, Llandudno

2 comments to Williams, Ellis

  • Bill Oliver

    Shoeing Smith, 2857 Ellis Williams, R.F.A. died on June 15th 1916 He was discharged ‘unfit’ on Oct 21st 1915.
    (UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 – on Ancestry website)

    • admin

      Thank you Bill for that information. It is the only official evidence that has come to light confirming that Ellis Williams (senior) was in the army.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>