Posted tagged ‘Great War’

‘Colonel Ellis’

November 16, 2007

Gwynne 1907 

This is our maternal grandfather, Thomas Gwynne Ellis, MBE, FLAS (1887-1953).

Happily, this is not a Remembrance item, as he survived the Great War (but was apparently shell-shocked).  He was a part-time soldier (Territorial Reserve) in the Royal Wiltshire Imperial Yeomanry when this picture was taken (the reverse is inscribed ‘Gwynne 1907’), but worked as Estate Manager to Lord Methuen at Corsham Court in Wiltshire.  Our mother was born in a cottage on the estate.

He was mobilized in 1914, and served as an Instructor and in the 11th Reserve Cavalry before being commissioned in the Royal Garrison Artillery, Special Reserve, posted to fight in 187th Siege Battery in France from November 1916 to the end of the War.  He operated as an aerial photographer, going up in fragile biplanes to take pictorial records of battlefields, trenches, targets and shell holes.  This must have been an unbelievably hazardous occupation.

We (my mother and I) gave some of his photographs, and other documents such as postcards from France, Top Secret maps, and a copy of the ‘Wipers Gazette’, to the Imperial War Museum.

Until I saw this photo and the postcards I hadn’t realised that he was known (and signed himself) as Gwynne, which I am proud to say is my middle name.

He had an (more…)