William is remembered on the war memorial at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Ipswich.


Born: 30th May 1886, Bombay, Maharashtra, India.

Died: 2nd September 1918; age: 32; Previously reported KiA, now Died of Wounds – William was with his Battery in action, and whilst in charge of the right section, during a period of enemy shell fire, a shell burst nearby, a piece of which struck him over the heart. He was immediately given first aid, but expired while being taken to the dressing station.

First Enlistment Date: 1901; age: 15 – Royal Horse Artillery. Served as a Boy Trumpeter, at Dublin. He served with the Royal Horse Artillery until April 1907 – 5 years & 266 days in Y Troop.

In 1905, Canada formed a regular army (before that it had none – only Militia), and recruited 3,000 British soldiers to form the nucleus called the Permanent Staff. William left the UK that same April, and went to Tete de Pont Barracks, Kingston, Ontario, and joined the Canadian Garrison Artillery. Later that year he transferred to the Canadian Horse Artillery, he was made Corporal in 1909, and Sergeant in 1911. He qualified in signalling and gun laying. In 1912 he transferred to the Corps of Military Staff Clerks. With war in 1914, he was moved to the Brigade Staff, 3rd Canadian Field Artillery Brigade, and went to UK on S.S. ‘Grampion‘ on 1st October 1914.
Stationed on Salisbury Plain in 1915, he had to enlist belatedly to “serve overseas” with the Expeditionary Force, something that should have happened before leaving Canada!!! Once in England he had a proportion of his pay paid directly to his father Arthur.
He went to France on S.S. ‘City of Chester’ on th 12th February 1915, and first saw action at Rouge Croix 2nd March 1915. On the 14th April 1916, he was appointed Brigade Sergeant Major and ranked Warrant Officer Class I. His Brigade suffered serious losses of Officers and in March 1917 he returned to England and officer school.
On the 11th November 1917, he returned to France, as a Lieutenant and was posted to the 5th Canadian Artillery Brigade. He rejoined his old 3rd Brigade 26th January 1918, which saw heavy fighting and many casualties. He had leave in the UK in August 1918 for 2 weeks. He died shortly after returning to France, his Batteries suffering more heavy casualties from shelling near Arras. He died whilst being carried to a dressing station of a shell wound just above the heart. He was buried in a joint grave with Pte. V HUMMEL of the 47th Battalion Canadian Infantry who died the same day. – Information courtesy of  Peter.

Second Enlistment Location: Beechingstoke, Wiltshire; Date: 7th January 1915; Age: 23 years & 8 months; Religion: CofE. Signed up for 6 months beyond the duration of war. Height: 5ft 7ins, fair complexion, grey eyes & brown hair. Next of Kin: father – Mr. A.W. Ellender, of 18, Montpelier Place, Brighton, England – later of 13, Stanley Avenue, Derby Road, Ipswich – and then of 62, Philip Road, Ipswich, and later of 75, Surrey Road, Norwich, Norfolk.


Embarked Canada – 2nd September 1914.

Transferred to the 3rd General Base Depot – Havre – 11th August 1915.

Attached to the Canadian Divisional Artillery Headquarters, 1st Canadian Division – 26th October 1915.

Appointed Brigade Sergeant Major – in the field – 9th January 1916.

Re-enlisted for period of 3 years – 4th April 1916.

Temporary Lieutenant – 6th August 1917 – Royal Canadian Field Artillery, 3rd Battery.



3rd July 1915 – Absent from Parade – Rouen – severely reprimanded.

8th July 1915 – Improperly dressed on Parade – Rouen – severely reprimanded.


Rank: Lieutenant; Service Number: 42023.

Regiment: Canadian Field Artillery, 3rd Battery.

Formerly number 17916 of the Royal Horse Artillery, ‘Y’ Battery.


Grave Reference:


Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery,


Pas de Calais,



William was laid to rest in a joint grave with ‘Vernie’ Ferdinand Michael Hummel, a Private, service number 751070, of the Canadian Infantry, Western Ontario Regiment, 47th Battalion. Vernie lost his life on the 2nd September 1918, when he was instantly killed by enemy shell fire during an attack on the Drocourt-Queant Line. Vernie was born June 1893, at Bloomingale, Ontario, a Roman Catholic, of French ancestry, he was the son of Philip & Catherine Hummel (nee Uhrig), of Conesloge, Ontario. In 1916, Vernie, a Rubber Worker, married Mynetta Pfeiffer, they made their home at 6, Moyer Place, Bloomingale, Ontario.

Photograph courtesy of Operation: Picture Me.


Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Arthur William & Annie Ellender, of ‘Glenthorne’ St. James Road, Sutton, Surrey.




1901   Royal Hibernian Military School, Phoenix Park, Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland.


William was 14 years old, a Scholar and Boarder at the school. He was a Roman Catholic, and could read and write.


Father: Arthur William Ellender, born 1859, Sandwich, Kent – a Sergeant/Instructor for the Royal Garrison Artillery. He enlisted at 4:40 p.m. on the 9th November 1878 into the Royal Artillery – served 27 years & 73 days – until the 30th April 1906.

Arthur Ellender, of 24, Albany Villas, Hove, re-enlisted at Brighton, East Sussex, on the 29th October 1914, in to the Royal Sussex Regiment, service number 265373. He was 54 years & 11 months old, religion, CofE. He was 5ft 9ins with a medium complexion and grey eyes. He did not serve abroad. His next of kin: wife Mrs. Alice Joan Ellender (nee Alldis).

Mother: Annie Helena Ellender (Purtill), born 1866 – died January 1892, at Isle of Wight, Hampshire.

Sister: Clara Catherine Ellender, born January 1888, Isle of Wight.

Sister: Jane Ellender, born May 1890, Isle of Wight.


William was educated at the Royal Hibernian Military School, Dublin, Ireland – entered 11th May 1896 – left 13th July 1901, to join the Royal Horse Artillery in Dublin, as a Boy Trumpeter. He served until April 1907 – 5 years & 266 days in Y Troop.


William’s medals were sent on the 20th March 1922, to his father, Arthur William Ellender, of St. James Road, Sutton, Surrey. Arthur also received the memorial plaque & scroll.


William is also remembered on the war memorial at the Royal Hibernian Military School, Ireland, at St. Mary at Stoke Church, Ipswich, at Totland Bay, Isle of Wight and at Carisbrooke Castle Chapel, Castle Road, Isle of Wight.


Family information courtesy of Peter:

William’s  father, ARTHUR WILLIAM joined the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1878 and served for 27 years until 1906 rising to the rank of Warrant Officer Class I. He re-enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regt. in WW1 from 1914 t0 1920, appointed Regimental Quartermaster Sgt. Stationed in East Anglia 1915-1916.
He married his first wife HELENA PURTILL in Cork, Ireland, about 1883 whilst stationed there. She died in 1892 on the Isle of Wight whilst he was stationed at Golden Hill Fort. He married again in 1902 to ALICE ALDIS.
Being widowed he sent the 2 girls and WILLIAM to relatives on the Island but in 1896 WILLIAM ALFRED was sent to The Royal Hibernian Military School, Dublin, aged 9 years 11 months.

WILLIAM’S father had a guest house in Totland, Isle of Wight from 1906 to 1913 and although he moved to Surrey after WW1 his son is commemorated on the memorials at both Totland and Carisbrooke church. This may be because members of his deceased mothers family were still living on the Island. Also WILLIAM probably went to school there between 1891 and 1896 whilst his Dad was stationed at Golden Hill Fort..

WILLIAM never married and sadly there is no known photograph of him.

One Comment

  • WILLIAM was one of a number of men from the Royal Horse Artillery who emigrated to Canada before the Great War to join the newly formed Canadian Horse Atrillery. They formed the backbone of instructors for the new Regiment at the depot in Kingston,Ontario. He worked his way up the ranks over 5 years with both the Horse and Field Artillery and left with the Canadian Expeditionary Force for England in 1915. Once there he re-engaged for the duration of the war at Beachingstoke, Salisbury Plain.
    I don’t know why he should be on an Ipswich War Memorial as he never lived there. The only time he spent in England was with his father on the Isle of Wight where he is on the memorial in Totland.


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