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Jack Ellis

Jack EllisDriver Jack Ellis, 821477, Royal Field Artillery, 49th Battery, 40th Brigade

In May 2020 it was discovered that Jack Ellis’s birth name was actually Joshua John Ellis. This caused confusion to the Army records and also to the 1928 listing of Ossett men who had lost their lives in WW1. Jack and Joshua John Ellis are one and the same man.

An explanation of the circumstances is provided below. Please see biography for Joshua John (aka Jack) Ellis for the full biography.

In common with many other Ossett men who died in WW1 John Ellis and Joshua Ellis were first researched in April 2014. Their names were included in the 230 names recorded in the Commemoration Programme issued in 1928 for the unveiling of the Ossett War Memorial on 11th November of that year.

In addition to John Ellis and Joshua Ellis the 1928 Commemoration Programme also included the name John W. Ellis. Whilst the research of John William Ellis proved relatively straightforward, attempts to corroborate the existence of John Ellis, who we believed to be known as "Jack", and Joshua Ellis proved problematical.

Nonetheless a full biography was written for Jack Ellis and a much shorter biography was compiled for Joshua Ellis suggesting his identity but acknowledging that we knew nothing about his war service or his death.

Since the 1928 Commemoration Programme included the names, John, John W. and Joshua Ellis, it was proper that the names engraved at the Ossett War Memorial should reflect that act of remembrance. Hence the names John Ellis, John W. Ellis and Joshua Ellis are included at the Ossett War Memorial. The name Jack Ellis was not remembered in 1928 and his name is not included on the Ossett War Memorial.

The name Joshua J. Ellis is also included on the St. Mary’s Church Gawthorpe Roll of Honour. The name Jack Ellis is not included on any Ossett Roll of Honour.

By May 2020 further WW1 records had become available and we revisited Jack Ellis and Joshua Ellis. It became evident that they were one and the same man.

The Pension Record Cards for Joshua John Ellis and Jack Ellis record the same service number and regiment and the same mother’s name and address at School Street, Gawthorpe. Jack’s Pension Card also records the word “cancelled” indicating that the army had finally reconciled the two names. For the avoidance of doubt their Pension Record Cards are reproduced below.

Jack Ellis Pension card

Above: Pension card in the name of Jack Ellis.

Joshua John Ellis pension card

Above: Pension card for Joshua John Ellis. Note the service numbers are identical.