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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 16017 Joseph Ellis


  • Age: 25
  • From: Beddgelert, Caernarvon
  • Regiment: 2/8TH KINGS
  • Died on Saturday 14th August 1920
  • Commemorated at: Bedgellert New Cemetery
    Panel Ref: G.12
Joseph Ellis was born in the March quarter of 1895, in Rhyd-ddu, part of Beddgelert, Carnarvonshire, the son of Robert Ellis and his wife Maggie Mary (nee Morris).  His father was born in Dyserth, Flintshire, and his mother in Rhyd-ddu. They married in Ffestiniog in 1893 and had three sons:  Joseph, William (born in 1898), and Richard (1900), all born in Rhyd-ddu . Like their parents, the children spoke both spoke Welsh and English.
 
In 1901 they are living at ‘Glasfryn’ in Rhyd-dud.  His father is a slate quarryman, Joseph is 6, William 3, and Richard 1.
 
His father died in 1904 aged 36.  In 1908 his mother remarried, to David H. Roberts; they had a son Derwyn in 1909. 
 
By 1911 Joseph is living and working at the Nelson Emporium, Bridge Street, Carnarvon. He is 16, an apprentice draper. His mother and stepfather are still at  Glasfryn with son Derwyn, and his youngest brother Richard 11.  His brother William, 13, is boarding with Hugh and Ann Jane Jones (relationship unknown), in Porthmadog. Sadly, Joseph suffered another loss when his mother Maggie died in 1912, aged 34.
 
Joseph enlisted in Liverpool joining the 17th Battalion of The King’s Liverpool Regiment as Private 16017. Two friends from Beddgelert, 15563 Rhys Roberts (died 14/1/1916) and 22897 David John Williams (died 03/7/1916) also joined the King’s.  

He was billeted at Prescot Watch Factory from 14th September 1914, he trained there and also at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 17th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain
After training in the UK Joseph sailed to France, disembarking at Boulogne on 7th November 1915.  As his service record has not survived, the details are not known. 
 
Joseph’s name appears in the list of Wounded in the Liverpool Daily Post on 14th August 1916 (exactly four years before death).  A Beddgelert history site states that he was treated for his wounds in a hospital in France, was granted leave to the U.K., and returned to France in October. It is likely that after being hospitalised, Joseph was transferred; his medal roll shows that he served in the 12th and 13th K.L.R., transferred back to the 17th, and was serving in the 8th Bn when he was demobbed (date not known). He never recovered from his wounds.

He may have been hospitalised in Liverpool, eventually dying there on 14th August 1920. 
 
Joseph’s body was returned home to Carnarvonshire, where he is buried in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Beddgelert, next to the grave of his father Robert. He was 25 years of age.
 
Joseph earned his three medals. Sadly, his name does not appear on the Beddgelert Memorial.
 
Joseph is commemorated on the family headstone in Welsh and a translation is quoted below:

"In pure and loving memory of Robert Ellis of Glasfryn, Rhyd-Ddu, who passed away peacefully and eternally on the 23rd November 1904 aged 36 years. Also his dear son Joseph, who died on the 14th August 1920 aged 25 years. His last words were "Graig yr Orsedd ddeu pryd hynny, yn y dryfroedd yn y tan" which is a quote from Rock of Ages. The transation of which is "Then the Rock of Ages keeps me, in the flood and fire strong".

Grateful thanks are extended to Natalie Jones of the Liverpool Family History Soicety for the tanslation from Welsh to English.

      
This is taken from the Beddgelert memorial site - 

Ellis, Joseph, Private 16017. Died 14/08/1920 aged 25. The King's (Liverpool Regiment) - 2nd/8th Battalion. Buried in a war grave at Beddgelert New Cemetery. Stepson of David H Roberts of Glasfryn (Glasfryn Terrace), Rhyd-ddu. Treated for wounds in a hospital in France. Came home on leave to Rhyd-ddu before returning to his regiment in October 1916. Not named on Beddgelert war memorial
 

With regard to Joseph's friends who joined the Liverpool Pals:

Rhys Roberts was the oldest son of William and Elizabeth Roberts. They lived at a farm called Bwlch Mwlchan (or Bwlch Mwrchan) in Nant Gwynant, north east of Beddgelert. William was chairman of Beddgelert Parish Council.

Rhys was living in Bootle, Liverpool, and forging a career in the cotton trade when war broke out. He was one of about 80 young men from the Welsh Methodist Chapel in Stanley Road, Bootle, who hurried to volunteer for the armed forces. Rhys enlisted in September 1914 and became a Private in the King’s Liverpool Regiment.

In August 1915 he married Edith Mary Griffith of Bryn Celyn, Benllech, Anglesey. She had previously lived in Bootle. The wedding took place at Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey. Rhys’ sister Alice was one of the bridesmaids.

Three months later, he travelled to France along with two other young men from Beddgelert in his regiment: Joseph Ellis and David John Williams.

On 14 January 1916 an accidental bomb detonation killed Rhys and two of his comrades. He was 24 years old. He is buried at Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, in the Somme region of France.

Soon after his death,  his father William Roberts signed a petition protesting at the leniency which the local military tribunal was showing to young men from the area who appealed against conscription.

David John Williams was born in the March quarter of 1897 the first born and only son of David Williams and his wife Myfanwy Glynn. He was killed on 03rd July 1916, aged 19, probably as a result of the Germans shelling the positions they surrended at Montauban on the 01st July 1916.