Ronald Edward (Ronnie) ELLIS

ELLIS, Ronald Edward

Service Number: WX13079
Enlisted: 17 May 1941
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/4th Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Wagin, Western Australia, 6 November 1922
Home Town: Wagin, Wagin, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Fitter's Assistant
Died: Died of wounds, Katong, Singapore, 11 February 1942, aged 19 years
Cemetery: Kranji War Cemetery
Plot 3, Grave 19, Kranji War Cemetery, Kranji, Singapore. Re-burial, after exhumation on 1st June 1946 from the Martia Road Military Cemetery, Singapore.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Wagin War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Private, WX13079
17 May 1941: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (WW2) , Private, WX13079
8 Feb 1942: Wounded Australian Military Forces (WW2) , Private, WX13079, 2nd/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Malaya/Singapore, Gunshot wound to right arm and shrapnel to chest 10 Feb 1942. Right arm amputated below right shoulder. Succumbed to wounds the following day.

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Biography contributed by Wayne Harper

Ronald Edward Ellis was the 3rd born of a total of 11 children (7 boys, 4 girls) to George Christie Ellis and Olive Ellen Ellis (nee King) in Wagin, Western Australia.  In growing up, Ronnie worked as a farmhand on his father's farm, and in his later teens became a fitter's assistant.  He was also an accomplished boxer, which fuelled his passion and fighting spirit to join the WW2 effort.

Ronnie's true date of birth was 6th November 1922, which is confirmed by family and other public records. His oldest brother, Arthur George Ellis b.1917 (WX4139) was already serving in the AIF at the time of Ronnie's attempt to enlist in the CMF. In the true ANZAC spirit of the day and wanting to follow in his brother's footsteps, Ronnie lied about his age to gain enlistment.

On his CMF enlistment (W1820) on 14 Oct 1940, using a false middle name of Edwin, he stated his date of birth as 6th Nov 1921, which would have made him 22 days shy of his 19th birthday, using this year of birth.

On his attestation for war service form (WX13079) on 17 May 1941, he further overstated his age, but this time giving his true middle name of Edward and giving his date of birth as 6th Nov 1920, ensuring his enlistment with an apparent age of 20 years 6 months. It appears he was unaware that the lower age limit for enlisting had been dropped from 20 to 19 by this time.

Ronnie was cited as a hero in his short time of frontline service where he helped to save a fellow wounded soldier while under heavy fire in Singapore, before he himself was badly wounded the day following and then dying from wounds the next day. The full details are in the documents section.