475365 Private George Clemens Ellis was born on 6 December 1890 in Ravenswood, Ontario to George David and Mary Ann (Martin) Ellis. He had four sisters Stella, Olivia, Orilla and Maud, and four brothers, Roland (who died as a child), Bertrum, Roy and Stanley. Their father was a farmer and died in 1908. Ellis was married to Grace Miriam (Fletcher), who he married on 21 September 1915. They appear to have had no children.
Ellis graduated from high school in 1908 and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada as a law student in 1910.
Prior to enlisting with the CEF, Ellis served in the Militia with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Ellis enlisted as a Private with the 4th University Company in September of 1915, only days after he was married. The University Companies recruited at universities across Canada to provide reinforcements for Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.
The PPCLI was raised at the outbreak of WWI and went overseas to England in September of 1914 and to Europe in December of 1914. The PPCLI was the first Canadian infantry unit to arrive on the Western Front and initially served with the British. In December of 1915, however, the PPCLI became part of the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division.
Ellis arrived in England on 7 December 1915 on board SS Lapland. On arrival in Shorncliffe, Ellis was taken on strength with the 11th Reserve Battalion. On 24 March Ellis went over to France to the PPCLI and joined the unit in the Field a few days later on 7 April 1916.
Less than two months after joining the PPCLI, on 2 June 1916, Ellis was wounded by enemy shell fire during the fighting at Zillebeke, Belgium – near Ypres – during the Battle of Mount Sorrel. He was evacuated to No.13 General Hospital in Boulogne, France the following day. He was reported as dangerously ill on 13 June 1916 and died of his wounds on 25 June 1916. He was 25 and is buried at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery (VIII.B.111.) in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
Ellis’ wife re-married in 1922. Her second husband, Frederick Anderson, was a WWI veteran having served in the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. Tragically, he died only a few years later, in 1925, and his death was attributed to his service in WWI.
Shea, E. Patrick; Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson (Firm); and Highlanders Foundation, “The Great War Law Student Memorial Project” (2014). Digital Texts. 2.