18 November 2012

The Ellis Boys - all related?

Here's something for those of you who enjoy doing family research. It's a question I was unable to answer due to time constraints, but perhaps you will be able to solve it.

Five original volunteers to the West Ham Battalion were -

(Service Number and Name)
17661 Albert Benjamin ELLIS
17265 EE ELLIS
17724 James ELLIS
17384 CW ELLIS
21462 F ELLIS

Albert Ellis was killed with another soldier when a grenade exploded accidentally. All the service numbers are low 17's, which means they were amongst the earliest men to enlist in The Hammers. 21462 F Ellis has a service number which indicates that he was a volunteer but also that he arrived in France from the Hammers depot company as a replacement, probably around January 1916.

The men were local to West Ham or to Hackney. This is interesting and opens the door to why I think the men are all related. There was a very large and successful piano manufacturer in the latter half of the 18th century called John Ellis. His main and famous showroom was in Upton Park but his factory was at the Alexandra Works, 130 Shacklewell Lane in Dalston.

I have an idea that perhaps the men were brothers and cousins. Or maybe it's pure coincidence.

Can you solve the mystery?