ELLIS, Walter Norcross Pte. 16061

Walter Ellis

Walter Ellis

Walter Norcross Ellis was born in Darwen on the 5th November 1890 and was recorded on the 1891 Census as living with his parents at 21 Kay Street in the town.

In 1901 he was being brought up by his two Aunts, Eliza Thornton and Jane Norcross at Station Road in Croston – his parents having died of Tuberculosis. Walter was on the 1911 Census living with his aunt, Eliza Thornton at 54 Mount Pleasant in Croston and working as a Cotton Weaver.

He emigrated to Canada with his uncle and four brothers and sisters sometime during 1911 or 1912, but returned to U.K. (alone) in late 1912. His journey was aboard the Canadian Pacific Liner ‘Empress of Britain’, from St. John’s in New Brunswick via Halifax in Nova Scotia, arriving in Liverpool on the 21st December 1912.

He duly returned to Croston, and upon enlisting in the Chorley Pals on the 26th September 1914 he gave his address as Mount Pleasant in the village and profession as Railway Porter – probably for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway at Croston Station.

Walter became a marksman in the Pals and won a gold medal for winning a bayonet fighting competition. On the 1st July 1916 at Serre he received wounds to his left shin and right hand, being shipped via the No. 2 Australian General Hospital at Rouen to a military hospital at Endell Street in London. After recovering from his wounds, he was eventually transferred to the 7th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment on the 29th November 1916, with a service number of 35431. He spent some time in hospital at Liverpool in May 1917 suffering from Bronchitis and a short spell in a hospital in Redcar during September and October that year, suffering from Scabies.

No doubt due to him working on the Railway, he was shipped out to Salonica on the 29th November 1917 with the Royal Engineers in the 19th Railway Operation Company, as Sapper WR/297219. His journey took him via Marseille (10th December), arriving in Salonica on New Year’s Day 1918.

Walter’s service record seems to indicate that he was wounded in action in the spring of 1918, being treated behind the lines; he returned to his unit on the 14th June. He left Salonica on the 3rd March 1919 and was demobilized from the Army on the 15th April.

After the war, Walter returned to Croston and married Elizabeth Ann Norris at Chorley in 1922; they set up home in Leyland.