Leave a tribute or memory of
Joseph Frederick Herring Ellisdon
Public - Steven - Researcher - 11 October 2018
"We walked the last hundred yards to the first line right in full view of the German gunners but found it was quieter there than further down the road. Arrived at the trench we turned along it and had to wade through a dozen yards of slimy mud of feet deep. It made one miserable. Our way along the trench was made difficult by its narrowness and the large number of men crowded together in it.
Here I found my old battalion all cheery and bright and eager to hop the parapet. Just before passing out of the section I met Cpt Ellisdon who commented on the fact that of the six officers and the six platoon sergeants who met the 5th Rifles when they came into camp he and I were the only ones left on active service.
At 3pm that afternoon I was the last surviving member of that group for Cpt Ellisdon fell mortally wounded on Factory Ridge, while exhorting the boys to hang on and dig in."
Part 1 from letter exert of Gilbert Gregory McCarthy Mitchell - Auckland Battalion 12/2392
"Monday 25th was our first great day. There was little or no sun but the air was crisp and we felt like business after a rough breakfast of bully biscuits. Before we did anything Lieutenant Loudon, the officer to whom Corporal Parker and I were attached, showed us a new plan of the trenches and going up to a slight rise we took a good look at the country and got our bearings. There was an ammunition dump at the head of Abbey Road and towards 8 oclock the whole battery set out for Grove Alley where we had our first line, each man carrying six rounds. We had to pass out of Flers and up the Abbey Road towards the line, and found this to be a risky undertaking. There was a trench running up the road but it was only a couple of feet deep and offered little protection ..."
My grandfather George McLaren (12/2419) was in the 1st Auckland Battalion with Joseph Ellisdon. Both men were in the 5th reinforcements so would have known each other well. George recorded in his WW1 diary (D2- P29) what would have been the last moments of Lt Ellisdons life during the Battle of the Somme. Here is the extract ....
Public - Steven - Researcher - 14 August 2018
"Tuesday the 26th of September 1916 - We charged at 12.35 and took our objective. Lt Ellisdon got hit about 100 yds from our own front front line, he was next to me, I pulled him into a shell hole and left him there and went on, he looked pretty bad. I then went for their lines & got hit with machine gun bullet at the sunken road, thought it went right through right arm but it has not ... hard luck. On my way back I put two badly wounded chaps into shell holes".
Rest in Peace, Joseph Ellisdon.