James’s Surname on St War Memorial is ELLISON and should be ELLINSON
James was born on 8th July 1892 to William and Sarah Ellinson of Woolton and baptized on the 4th September. His father’s occupation a gardener. James was always known to the family as Jim.
His parents William and Sarah Martin both born Woolton. and married about 1883. James was the 5th of eleven children . His older siblings were Mary, Thomas, William, John and younger siblings were Francis, Sarah, Lilly, Jane, Isaac, and Henrietta.
In 1901 the family is living at 5 Rose St Woolton, father a domestic gardener, they have eight children and James is 8 yrs old.
In 1911 they are at 7 Cam St Woolton , and father is a Lamplighter. There are 9 children at home and James now 18yrs old and employed as a domestic gardener . Like his brothers John and Francis would have enlisted soon after the war was declared when he was 22yrs old.
Interestingly, all his military records show the name Ellison.
He served as Private 35103, 17th (Pals) Bn, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment. He trained in the U.K. until shipping to France, disembarking at Boulogne on 7th November 1915. James saw and survived the action at the Somme in July, including Trones Wood and Guillemont, the Battle of the Transloy Ridges in October, Arras in April 1917, then in the Ypres salient, including Passchendaele.
By December 1917 the battalion is in the Polderhoek sector of the salient. The Battalion War Diary records:
19/12/1917 – Battalion holding front line. Heavy gas shell bombardment of the whole sector between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and intermittently during the night necessitating the use of respirators.
20/12/1917 – Battalion holding front line. 2nd Lieut. R. Gill, M.C., M.M., reported enemy in large numbers creeping towards our line about 11:45 a.m. Rifle and Lewis gun fire failed to disperse them and in reply to our S.O.S. call an artillery barrage was put down. The enemy scattered and at 12.20 p.m. all was quiet. Casualties: 2 OR killed.
The two Other Ranks killed were Private 52009 James Leach, 19, and Private 35103 James Ellison, aged 25. They both lie in Hooge Crater Cemetery, Flanders.
His parents would have received the news in time for Christmas.
They placed an In Memoriam notice in the Liverpool Echo one year later, on 20th December 1918:
“ELLINSON – In loving memory of our dear son JAMES ELLINSON (our Jim), K.L.R., killed in action December 20 1917. In memory he is with us here, In memory still we hold him dear. Never forgotten by his loving Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters, 16 Berrington Avenue, Woolton.”
His parents received his effects and pension. The family appears on the electoral registers in 1914 and 1929, still at 16 Berrington Avenue.
CWGC – have his name on his headstone as J. Ellison. We have contacted them to see if this error can be rectified. A reply was recieved on 07th July 2020 to advise that the error will be rectified and either an amended or replacement headstone will be requested.
Private James Ellinson (Ellison) with serial number 35103 was killed in action on the 20th December 1917.
Private J Ellinson (Ellison)is Remembered with Honour Hooge Crater Cemetery near Ypres Belguim.