55423 Private John Ellis Childs
C Company 8th Battalion
New Zealand Canterbury Regiment
13th December 1917
Born on 13/03/1897 at Pleasant Point, South Canterbury, New Zealand.
His parents were Albert Edward Childs(1850-1925) and Anna Coleman(birth date unknown - 01/04/1902). They were married on 02/04/1891.
Ellis( that was the name used in his service records) had 2 brothers, Charles Albert(31/05/1893-19/05/1917) and Arthur(born in 1901).
He also had 3 sisters, Edith(1890-29/11/1975), Cecelia Ellen(01/06/1893-1988) and Hannah Emma (1898-15/10/1969).
When his father remarried in 1903 (after his wife's death the year previous ) to Agnes Young(birth date unknown-1920), they also had children, so Ellis had a half brother, James Edgar(1904-11/09/1905) and 3 half sisters, Muriel Agnes(16/04/1906-18/04/1997),Isabella Jane(1908-14/01/1943) and Eileen Netta(born in 1914).
Ellis enlisted on 04/05/1917 at Trentham Camp. He had previously being employed by A Tozer in Pleasant Point, Canterbury as a labourer and had also served in the 2nd South Canterbury Territorial Infantry Regiment.
Details of the his medical ,that took place on the same day as his enlistment are as follows;
Apparent Age 20 years 1 month, Height - 5ft 7 inches, Weight - 130lbs, Chest - Minimum - 34 inches
Maximum - 351/2 inches, Complexion - Fair, Colour of Eyes -Grey, Colour of Hair - Fair, Religious Profession - Anglican.
Ellis was posted to C Company of the 29th Reinforcements on 28/05/1917 and then transferred to C Company of the 28th Reinforcements on 27/06/1917.
Ellis embarked from Wellington on 26/07/1917 for England, dis-embarking in Plymouth just under 2 months later on 24/09/1917 and marching into Sling Camp , Wiltshire the same day.
He was taken on strength and posted to C Company 4th NZ Reserve Regiment at Codford Camp on 26/09/1917.
He transferred to D company at Sling on 03/10/1917.
Ellis proceeded to France from Sling on 26/10/1917 and just over 2 weeks later on 10/11/1917, he joined
1st Battalion Canterbury Regiment and posted to 2nd Company whist at Rouen.
Whilst still at Rouen , he was detached to brigade school on 20/11/1917, returning to his battalion a week later on 27/11/1917.
Ellis was killed in action on 13/12/1917.
He was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory Medals.
Timaru Herald - 3 January 1918
"Mr A Childs. Pleasant Point received word last week that his son Private Ellis Childs had been killed in action in France.
Private Childs left with 28th Reinforcements and was well known in the Pleasant Point district. He was 20 years of age at the time of his death. This is the second son Mr Childs has lost in the war."
His brother Charles served as Rifleman (21791) C Company 1st Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade. He died of wounds on 19/05/1917.
He is buried in Kandahar Farm Cemetery near the village of Wulvergem, Belgium. Plot I Row D Grave 21.