James Clive Ellis was born on 15 July 1898 in Glenfield, Leicestershire, the younger child of James Bancroft Ellis (1861-1911) and Ethel Sara Ellis née Plant (1866-1945). His birth was registered in the 3rd quarter of 1898 in the Blaby registration district, Leicestershire.
In the 1901 census he is shown as living at The Gables, Groby Road, Glenfield, Leicestershire, with his parents and his sister Maud Ellis (b.1893), together with a nursemaid and a female general domestic servant. His father was described as a fruit grower.
From 1908 he was educated at Gresham School, Holt, Norfolk, where in the 1911 census he is shown as boarder and in 1915 he went on to University College, London.
On 3 August 1916 he enlisted as a Private in the 28th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, service number 104875. He obtained a commission and was gazetted Second Lieutenant in the Tank Corps on 27 September 1917, entering France on 25 January 1918. He was serving in the 4th Battalion, Tank Corps when the German Spring Offensive commenced on 21 March 1918. During the British retreat he was fighting in his tank on 23 March 1918 when all his crew were either killed or wounded. He destroyed his tank to prevent it being captured by the enemy and whilst making his way back to the British lines he was wounded in his left thigh by a German sniper and was taken prisoner. He died after undergoing the amputation of his leg owing to gas gangrene, aged 19 years, on 21 April 1918 in a German Field Hospital at Villers-Faucon, Northern France and his body was buried in Plot 3, Row A, Grave 14, in the Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery Extension.
Probate records confirm that his address had been 'Glenties', Avenue Road, Leicester and that he had died in the German Field Hospital, Villers-Faucon. Administration of his estate was granted to his mother on 10 January 1919 and his effects totalled £853-13s-11d.
By 26 April 1919 his army effects totalling £108-15s-9d had been sent to his mother and she was also sent his £6-0s-0d war gratuity on 26 November 1919. He was posthumously awarded the British War medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal and these were sent to his mother.
He is also commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website, on the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War website, on the Glenfield War Memorial in the churchyard at St Peter's Church, Church Road, Glenfield, Leicester, LE3 8DP and as J. Clive Ellis on the carved oak memorial screen in Gresham's School Chapel.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.