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Born: 1884, Bradford
Parents: Grimshaw & Mary A
Siblings: Mary D, Geoffrey
Occupation: Wool Trade, F Bland & Son, Bradford
Organisations/clubs: Baildon RFC
Rank: Cpl
Medals/awards: DCM
Rolls of Honour:
Regiment: 1/6 Yorkshire
William Ellison
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The first mention of William’s service comes in a report in the Shipley Times & Express on 30 July 1915: Baildon people have heard with regret that another local soldier, Cpl William Ellison (Bradford Territorials), of Long Royd, Langley Lane, has been wounded whilst serving with his regiment in Belgium Cpl Ellison, who was educated at Sedberg School, took an active part in the formation of the Baildon Rugby Football Club, the majority of the members of which are with the forces. According to a letter received from another member of the club, Pte Tom Worsnop, the injury which Cpl Ellison received was in the neck.
On 21 January 1916, the newspaper reported: The first Baildon soldier to be awarded the much-coveted Distinguished Conduct Medal is Cpl William Ellison, son of the late Mr Grimshaw Ellison, and of Mrs Ellison, Long Royd, Baildon. Cpl Ellison, who is a member of the 1/6 West Yorkshire Regt (Bradford Territorials) was amongst the first batch of the young men of Baildon to answer the call to arms. Educated at Sedburgh School, he received his first military training as a member of the Officer’s Training Corps at that institution.
At the outbreak of war he was learning the wool trade with Messrs F Bland and Son, Bradford. He joined the colours a few weeks after the outbreak of hostilities and went with the regiment to France last April. In July he was slightly wounded in the neck but was able to join his comrades after spending a week in a rest camp behind the firing line. On August 30, while on duty with a listening patrol, he was injured by the explosion of a hand grenade, which caused no fewer than nine wounds, none of which, fortunately, was in a vital part. He was under treatment in Norwich
Hospital up to December 30 and since that date has been in a convalescent home connected with the hospital. It is interesting to note that two men of the same regiment have been awarded the DCM for carrying Cpl Ellison after he had been wounded, to a place of safety. Cpl Ellison was a member of the Baildon Rugby Football team, several members of which are serving with the colours. He was secretary of the club and was to have filled the post of captain during the season 1914 and 1915. He was an intimate friend of the late Cameron Margetts, son of a former vicar of Baildon, who was killed at the front.
The newspaper was on hand again to publish on 14 April 1916 the story of William’s welcome back in Baildon: The young Baildon hero, Cpl William Ellison, who was recently decorated with the D.C.M. for valour in the field, was given a rousing reception on Monday evening at a function which took place during the show at the Baildon Picture House. Many local dignitaries attended and ‘the appearance of Cpl Ellison was the signal for deafening applause and the singing of “He’s a jolly good fellow,” “It’s a long way to Tipperary” and other popular melodies.’ Cllr H Williams, chairman of the District Council, noted the hall was ‘well filled and that Cpl Ellison would accept that fact as instant
evidence that Baildon appreciated the honour which had been confirmed on him by the awarding of the D.C.M.’ Shy Cllr Williams added that Cpl Ellison did not want to make a speech – he was young and no doubt shy (laughter), especially in the presence of so many females (renewed laughter). It was often said that a man did not cut his wisdom teeth until he was thirty but Cpl Ellison had at least cut what he would describes as his bravery teeth (applause). Cllr Williams went on to present Cpl Ellison with an inscribed silver cigarette case. Cllr W Whittaker said they were ‘all anxious that the lads should come safely back. At the same time they felt proud of the manner they
were doing their duty and doubly proud of those who, in doing it, distinguished themselves as Cpl Ellison had done.’ In an editorial describing Cpl Ellison as ‘a lion’, the Shipley Times & Express wrote: ‘There were, of course, military men at Baildon in former times. No record is to found of any of them securing similar distinction to the D.C.M. but many capable soldiers were reared on these breezy heights. ‘A tablet at Baildon Parish Church tells of the death at the early age of 28 years of Major Paul Meyer – “He was bread to the Profession of Arms and was universally acknowledged to be a most able officer.” ‘So runs the story. That was in 1743, getting on to two hundred years ago.’