The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Ronald Edward
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- 'D' Company, 16 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Wagin, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- George Christie Ellis
- Mothers's Name:
- Olive Ellen Ellis (nee King)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Fitter’s Assistant
- Kranji War Cemetery, Plot 3, Row C, Grave 19, Age 21.
- Cause of Death:
- Died of Wounds. Wounded in action 10/1/1942. Soldier received a gunshot wound to his right arm and shrapnel wound to his chest. Admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital in a badly shocked state, where an amputation of his arm, 2 inches below the shoulder joint was conducted.
- Place of Death:
- 2/13th A.G.H. at St Patricks School
- Date of Death:
- Martia Road Military Cemetery, Katong, Protestant Section, Grave No 6.
Ron Ellis was actually born 17 May 1922 and not 1920 as recorded on his AIF enlistment information May 1941. (His brother Charles was born 1920). Ellis obviously increasing his age to ensure his application was successful. He later joined 2/4th’s ‘D’ Company 16 Platoon as a reinforcement.
Above: Ron Ellis taken at his half-sister Ellen Rose McQuade’s House in Bassendean.
Below: Ron is home on leave.
Ron Ellis was one of 6 children born to George Christie Ellis and Olive Ellen King of Wagin. (Olive Ellen was formerly married to John William ‘Jack’ McQuade who d. 1914
Wagin). George and Olive married 1917 Katanning. They had six sons and two daughters Olive Edith (m. William James ‘Bill’ O’Brien) She died Wagin 2008. Mary Isobel (died Boddington 2003) m. Harry James English.
Charles Alfred died Kerang, Victoria 2005.
Leonard Alfred d. Carnarvon 2000.
Brice Hal d. Busselton 2021.
Dennis Roy d. Wagin 2022
Below: May 1940 Boxing Carnival Wagin – Ron and Ron McCracken are participants. Boxing was a popular sport at that time.
Young Christopher William (Bill) Ellis died 1949 Wagin aged 14 years – admitted to hospital with appendicitis. Peritonitis developed.
Ron was 18 years old when he enlisted 17th May 1941 – he recorded his birth year as 1920 on his enlistment details, when in fact he was born in 1922. He was sent to Woodside SA for training, then to Darwin. He joined ‘D’ Company No 16 Platoon. Please read about 16 Platoon.
Ron was wounded in action on 10.2.1942. He received a gunshot wound to his right arm and shrapnel wound to his chest. Admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital in a badly shocked state, where an amputation of his arm, 2 inches below the shoulder joint was conducted. Tragically Ron died the following day on 11 Feb 1942.
Late Pte. RON ELLIS, No. 16 Platoon
Heroism at Singapore
An interesting letter has been received by Mrs. G. Ellis, of Wagin containing news of her late son, Pte. Ron Ellis, who was recently reported as having died of wounds at Singapore.
The Letter comes from a very reliable source, and having seen the original for ourselves, we can vouch for its authenticity. However, as permission has not been given by the writer to publish her name, we will not disclose the source of the information. The letter is sufficient to show that Ronny Ellis, during his tragically short period of actual service, proved himself to be a real Australian soldier, with everything that it takes to be a hero!
Efforts are now being made by local Authorities to see that the action of the late Pte. Ellis, in rescuing an officer under heavy enemy fire is reported to and recognised by the Military Authorities.
The letter received by Mrs. Ellis reads as follows: –
‘Dear Mrs. Ellis,
You will no doubt be very surprised to receive this letter from a stranger, but as my brother fell in the same battle as your son Ronald, and I have been able to gain some details – particularly in relation to your boy – I am taking the liberty of writing this to you in the confidence that it will bring you pride and some consolation. I feel sure that you will want to know all that can be found out, as much as I have wished to learn about my brother’s death, but without success.
The news I have for you was given me by a Corporal of the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, who escaped from Singapore near the end of the battle, and has been back in Perth some three weeks. I, of course was anxious to learn if he knew anything of my brother, but, unfortunately, as they had been in different Companies, they were unknown to one another. However your son Ronald was known to the Corporal, and I am glad to be able to tell you that your son’s courage and devotion to duty were all that anyone could hope.
In the Cpl.’s own words, “Ronnie saved my life”.
As related to me, it appears that about a dozen men were endeavouring to carry out a retirement, when they found that they were caught on three sides by Japanese troops and were consequently forced to swim a river to escape. Discarding all equipment, they entered the water and endeavoured to reach the opposite bank. All succeeded in doing so except the Corporal, who is a bad swimmer and he got into great difficulties in midstream. Thereupon, your son returned to him and assisted him to the far bank, all the time under dangerous fire from the enemy. It was a great example of absolute unselfishness and fearlessness and, I am sure will be a source of great pride to you.
The above occurred on Monday, February 9th and the Corporal was with your son until Wednesday the 11th, when they lost touch with one another. I understand that it was on the next day that your son was reported to have died. Please accept my sincere sympathy in your sad loss, and I know that you will understand that I can enter fully into your feeling of sorrow and loss, as my brother fell on the next day and I did truly love my brother ________
Yours sincerely, _______________
Ellis Ronald Edward Feb 1943
Below: Joe Ellis died Dec 1948. He is uncle to Ron and the brother of George Christie Ellis.
Below: Ron’s young brother William Ellis died in 1949.
Below: Grandmother to Ellis, Mary Ann Ellis died 1950. She was mother to George Christie Ellis. George’s brother Arthur Ellis d. WW1 France 1916.