Oliver William Ellis

Date of birth: 1892
Place of birth: Dudley, West Midlands
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 1/4th
Rank / Service No: Private, 211187
Died: 18th July 1917, aged 25 years
Buried: Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq (Plot XV, Row B, Grave 12)



Oliver was the second of 4 known siblings born to William Anker and Dorothy Ellis (nee Grudgings), who married in Leicester in 1886.

It must be assumed that one child died in infancy.

Both parents were born in Leicester, William in 1862 and Dorothy in 1863. William died in Southampton in 1949 and Dorothy passed away in Winchester in 1947.


The family were living at 7 Andover Road, Shirley at the 1911 Census.



Ada Florence   b. 1889 Dudley   d. 4 February 1959 at 160 Manor Farm Road, Bitterne Park.

Oliver William 

Ernest Welborne   b. 21 March 1894 Crewe   d. 1966 Wang, Victoria, N.S.W   Departed England 11 October 1960 with wife Beatrice Louisa, bound for Australia.

Walter Harold   b. 1897 Birmingham   d. 1976 Southampton   Married Freda M. Mills in Southampton in 1928.


The 1/4th battalion was formed at Winchester in August 1914, part of the Hampshire Brigade in the Wessex Division.

They landed in Karachi on 11 November 1914 but sailed for Mesopotamia in early March 1915, arriving at Basra on 18th with the 33rd Indian Brigade.


The battalion was to remain in Mesopotamia and Persia for the rest of the war.


The Battalion HQ and one Company were captured at Kut-el-Amara on 29 April 1916 and the remainder formed a composite battalion with the 1/5th battalion, the Buffs, and – attached to the 35th Indian Brigade – transferred to the 14th Indian division.

The battalion then transferred to the 36th Indian Division in November 1916.


There appear to be no specific battles at the time of Oliver’s death, so it must be presumed that he died either during a skirmish or as a result of sickness.


North Gate cemetery was begun in April 1917 and has been greatly enlarged since the end of WW1, by graves brought in from other burial grounds in Baghdad and northern Iraq.

Other graves were also brought in battlefields and cemeteries in Anatolia, where Commonwealth P.o.W’s were buried by the Turks.


At present, 4,160 Commonwealth WW1 dead are commemorated by name in the cemetery, many of them on special memorials.


Unidentified burials from this period number 2,729.




Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 14th July 2016


If you have any additional comments on the person named above, please complete the comments section below.