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Thomas Edward Ellisdon

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  • Service number
    WWI 11/1147 AWMM
  • Also known as
  • Armed force / branch
    • Army AWMM
    • Wellington Mounted Rifles Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Major A. H. Wilkie, Whitcombe and Tombs (1924), Official War History of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment 1914-1919
  • Last rank
  • War
Portrait of Lance Sergeant Thomas Edward Ellisdon, Wellington Mounted Rifles. Photograph taken in April 1917 while in Cairo, Aotea Convalescent Home, after being wounded at Khan Yunus, near Egypt/Palestine border. Image kindly provided by Gillian Ward (August 2019). Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Lance Sergeant Thomas Edward Ellisdon, Wellington Mounted Rifles. Photograph taken in Ap …

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Thomas Edward AWMM
  • Surname
    Ellisdon AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 11/1147 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    2 October 1893 AWMM GisborneGisborne AWMM
  • Date of birth
    2 October 1893 Public - Gillian - Other relative - 29 August 2019 - Family information
  • Place of birth
    Gisborne Public - Gillian - Other relative - 29 August 2019 - Family information
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • WW1 Rere, Gisborne, New Zealand AWMM
    • Thomas was working for C. E. (Chas) Matthews at Te Kopae, Wharekopae/Rere prior to enlistment. Public - Gillian - Other relative - 29 August 2019 - Family information
  • Post war occupation
    Farm manager, Waimiro, then Rimuhau (Waerenga-o-kuri), working for S. E. Gillingham. Public - Gillian - Other relative - 29 August 2019 - Family information
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Frederick Ellisdon (father), Kingsland, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 13 June 1915 AWMM Single AWMM
    • Married Annie Emma Robcke in early 1920. Public - Gillian - Other relative - 29 August 2019 - Family information, NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Gallipoli, Egypt Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Personnel Archives of the NZ Defence Force, Family records
  • Armed force / branch
    • Army AWMM
    • Wellington Mounted Rifles Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Major A. H. Wilkie, Whitcombe and Tombs (1924), Official War History of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment 1914-1919
  • Service number
    WWI 11/1147 AWMM
  • Military service
    Gallipoli, and operations in Egypt, fighting across the Sinai desert into Palestine. Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Liet. Col. C. Guy Powles (1922), THE NEW ZEALAND DIVISION 1916-1919 Official History Vol 3 Sinai and Palestine
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers
    Promoted to Lance Sergeant on 9 January 1917 following the battle of Rafah. Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Personnel Archives of the NZ Defence Force

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Trentham camp Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Fenton (2013), NZ and the 1st WW 1915-19, pp. 36-37 'Training in New Zealand', Personnel Archives of the NZ Defence Force
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    • WW1 WellingtonNew Zealand AWMM
    • Attestation, formal enlistment for the NZ Expeditionary Force, 15/02/1915 Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Personnel Archives of the NZ Defence Force
  • Occupation before enlistment
    Horse Breaker Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Personnel Archives of the NZ Defence Force
  • Age on enlistment
    21 Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Personnel Archives of the NZ Defence Force

Embarkations

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Died of Sickness, Cause of Death AWMM
      Enteric Fever AWMM
    • Enteris Fever (Typhoid), died in Gisborne's Cook Hospital, 17/12/1920, aged 27 Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, Poverty Bay Herald

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Son of Phoebe Emmeline Ellisidon and Frederick Joseph Herring Ellisdon. AWMM
    • Lance Sergeant Thomas E. Ellisdon (Regimental Number 11/1147) second son of Frederick Joseph Herring (Fred) Ellisdon and Phoebe Emmeline Ellisdon (nee Burch), had his medical examination for enlistment for WW1 on 10th October 1914 just after he turned 21. He had been working for C. E. (Chas) Matthews at Te Kopae, Wharekopae/Rere, and on his Attestation form on enlistment for the NZ Expeditionary Force, 15 February 1915, he described his Trade or Calling as “horse breaker”. Tom had been born in Gisborne and though raised from toddler to high-school leaver in Auckland, he then returned to Gisborne to work on farms.

      Tom and his brother Frederick Joseph Herring (Fred) Ellisdon were in Trentham camp prior to embarkation, Tom with the Wellington Mounted Rifles and Fred with the Auckland Mounted Infantry. They embarked from Trentham with the 5th Reinforcements on 13 June 1915.

      The 5th Reinforcements arrived at Suez where there was a delay in deployment of the Mounted Rifles reinforcements. Tom would have been at Mudros on Lemnos in training and rebuilding of Wellington Mounted Rifles in preparation for Gallipoli in November-December. The 5ths infantry (including Fred) were landed at Gallipoli in the middle of the August offensive, however Tom along with most of the Mounted Rifles 5ths didn’t get to Gallipoli until mid-November. The final withdrawal was just before Christmas 1915.

      Tom then participated in the operations in Egypt, fighting across the Sinai desert into Palestine. He was made a Corporal soon after arrival in Egypt and was promoted to Lance Sergeant on 9 January 1917 in place of his troop sergeant killed that day in the battle of Rafah on the Egypt/Palestine border.

      He was wounded at Khan Yunus about 6 km over the border into Palestine (Gaza Strip) on 23 February 1917 (gunshot wound right thigh).

      http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/wellington-mounted-rifles/1917
      Day/incident in which Tom Ellisdon wounded –
      February 23rd 1917 – The WMR, the rest of the NZMR and the 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade leave Sheikh Zowaiid at 1 a.m. for Khan Yunis, 30 km to the north-east, which is reported to have been abandoned by Ottoman forces. It is hoped to capture Sheikh Ali el Hirsch, a suspected Ottoman spy.
      Reports that the Ottomans have left Khan Yunis prove to be premature when the WMR, which has formed the advance guard, comes under fire at 5.30 a.m. Despite making progress, the WMR receives orders for a general withdrawal at 7.50 a.m. and the operation is abandoned. The WMR has lost one man killed and seven wounded during the attack. The WMR returns to bivouac near Sheikh Zowaiid.

      After Tom was wounded he waited some hours for the field ambulance camels to collect him (first aid attention and protection initially given on site), then he was taken to the railhead likely 10-20 km beyond Rafah and they caught a train to Kantara on the Suez Canal. He was admitted to the stationary hospital there that night, the same day he was wounded, 200 km away, which seems remarkably fast.

      He was transferred to the Aotea Convalescent Home on the outskirts of Cairo after 5 weeks in hospital for further recovery with the expectation he would be returning to active duty. However, he was returned to hospital for a few more weeks then home to NZ by hospital ship to be discharged as unfit for further service.

      When Tom returned to Gisborne, on 12 September 1917, he was able to ride a horse and to manage a farm. He had hoped to buy a farm, but initially he managed Waimiro for S. E. Gillingham. He then transferred to Rimuhau, Waerenga-o-kuri, when S.E. Gillingham swapped properties with H de Lautour. He married Gisborne-born Annie Robcke and they lived in a two room cottage on Rimuhau.

      Then in December 1920 Tom contracted enteric fever (typhoid), and died in Gisborne’s Cook Hospital, just 12 weeks after Annie gave birth to their daughter, Rose Phoebe Marjorie Ellisdon.
      Thomas Ellisdon is buried at Taruheru Lawn Cemetery. Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/wellington-mounted-rifles/1917;
      Personnel Archives of the NZ Defence Force;
      Major A. H. Wilkie, Whitcombe and Tombs (1924), Official War History of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment 1914-1919
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    17 December 1920 AWMM
    Age 27 AWMM
    GisborneGisborne AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
    • Died of Sickness AWMM
    • Enteric Fever (Typhoid) Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, Poverty Bay Herald
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Taruheru Cemetery, Nelson Road, Gisborne District, New Zealand AWMM Block OLD/1 Plot 463 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Poverty Bay Herald, 18 December 1920
    The death occurred in the Cook hospital yesterday of Mr. T. E. Ellisdon, second son of Mr and Mrs F. J. H. Ellisdon, of Auckland, at the age of 27 years. Mr. Ellisdon was admitted to the hospital twelve days ago with enteric fever, and the malady proved fatal, despite the most careful attention of the medical superintendent and the nursing staff. The deceased joined the 5th Reinforcements, W.M.R., and served as a sergeant in Egypt and Gallipoli. He was wounded in the right leg and returned to New Zealand at the latter end of 1917. Since his return home the deceased had been managing for Mr. S. E. Gillingham, and for some time he had been residing at Rimahau, Waerenga-o-kuri. Mr. Ellisdon was very well known in Auckland and Gisborne. His elder brother (Captain F. J. H. Ellisdon) was killed in the Somme engagement in 1916, and a second brother, Roy, also served as a sergeant with an Auckland regiment. A third brother Arthur (now residing at Wairoa) left with the Main Body. The deceased, by his genial, though quiet nature, made for himself a wide circle of friends wherever he went, and much sympathy will be extended to his young widow and 12-weeks-old child. In addition to the brothers already mentioned, deceased has another brother, Mr. F. Ellisdon, and two sisters, Mrs. A. Menzies and Miss P. Ellisdon, all of whom reside in Auckland. The funeral took place this afternoon. Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, Poverty Bay Herald
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name
    • Memorial window, St Luke's Anglican Church, near the corner of St Luke's and New North Roads, Mt Albert, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Kingsland Methodist Trinity Church Roll of Honour 1914-1918, 400 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland 1021 AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Marble panels of the Auckland museum’s ‘Sanctuary’ Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019 - Family information

Roll of Honour

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  • Thomas' military service medals were: 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal.
    Public - Gillian - Other relative - 29 August 2019
    Report 
  • Chris Ward, Thomas' grandson, collected five pebbles from Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, in 2006 in memory of Thomas, and left behind on the beach a sandstone pebble from Sponge Bay, Gisborne.

    The Anzac Cove stones are similar to those in Gisborne. Gallipoli Peninsular is made of sediment of plate boundary collision, Miocene age.

    These pebbles have been deposited in Tairawhiti Museum's collection-sandstone, chert, quartz, diorite.

    The family does not have Lance Sergeant Thomas Edward Ellisdon's military medals. These may have been lost when his widow, Annie's, Ngaruawahia house was sold in early January 1973 rather hurriedly following Annie's funeral, and before the family had collected items from the house. The medals would have his name engraved on the edge, and there are stories around of people seeking family connections of such stray medals in recent years, so perhaps these will turn up.
    Public - Gillian - Other relative - 28 August 2019
    Report 

Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      Vol1: 214 AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 4: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 5: Includes portrait AWMM

Contributors

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
29 August 2019GillianGisborneOther relative
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