George Edwin Ellison

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George E Ellison.jpg
Pte. George Edwin Ellison
Birth name George Edwin Ellison
Born 1878
Leeds, England
Died 11 November 1918 (aged 40)
Mons, Belgium
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service ????-1912
Rank Private
Unit 5th Royal Irish Lancers

First World War

George Edwin Ellison (1878 – 11 November 1918) was the last British soldier to be killed in action during the First World War. He died at 09:30 am (90 minutes before the armistice came into effect) while on a patrol on the outskirts of Mons, Belgium.


Ellison came from Leeds, England. Early in his life, he joined the British Army as a regular soldier but had left by 1912 when he was married to Hannah Maria Burgan and had become a coal miner. Sometime just before the outbreak of war he was recalled to the army, joining the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, serving in the army at the start of the war. He fought at the Battle of Mons in 1914, and several other battles including the Battle of Ypres, Battle of Armentières, Battle of La Bassée, Battle of Lens, Battle of Loos, and Battle of Cambrai on the Western Front.

Ellison, stated to be aged 40, is buried in the St Symphorien Military Cemetery, just southeast of Mons.[1] Coincidentally, and in large part due to Mons being lost in the very opening stages of the war and regained at the very end (from the British perspective), his grave faces that of John Parr, the first British soldier killed during the Great War.[2][3]

He was survived by Hannah and a son, James Cornelius, just five days short of his fifth birthday when his father was killed. At least two of his grandchildren were alive as of 2008.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Casualty Details: Ellison, George Edwin". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  2. ^ John Lichfield, Two soldiers linked in death by a bizarre coincidence, The Independent, 8 November 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2011
  3. ^ "The Last Day of World War One". Timewatch. Season 2008–2009. BBC. 
  4. ^ Michael Palin, The grandfather we never knew, BBC News, 29 October 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2011

Further reading[edit]