Just too many Williams leads back 100 years

I have just uploaded my tree to wikitrees which is quite a different family research site.  It is free and aims at collaboration on a tree.   It was a bit nerve racking, as there are just too many William Stewart Heards in the family!  Somehow it got confused, and my GG grandfather was listed as the father of my uncle.  From there it went downhill!  Anyway, eventually I was able to sort all the Williams out and get an accurate tree.

I have already had several enquiries from other people about some people on my tree. Sadly they do not seem to be on wikitrees however.  Most probably have a google alert on for my GGG Grandfather, William Ellis.  he was in the charge of the light brigade.  I have found another cousin, which is great!  He is visiting in Australia, but it does not look like we will catch up unfortunately.

He did give me some interesting information about William Ellis and the 100 year anniversary of his death.  Apparently it was quite a big deal in  Upper Hale, the district of Farnham where he lived.  There was an organised service of remembrance which ended at the gravesite. The service in the church used the same hymns and music as in 1913. The 11th Hussars even sent an officer and small squadron of troops.  This gem led me to this information:

Last Survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade honoured at Hale

13 June 2013
Last Survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade honoured at Hale photo
Members of the King’s Royal Hussars, the Royal British Legion and the Chelsea Pensioners will attend a special service on June 8 to mark 100 years since the death of the last surviving member of the charge of the Light Brigade.
St Mark’s Church, Hale, will remember the life of former Upper Hale resident Mr William Ellis who had been Trooper Ellis of the 11th Hussars when he participated in ‘that gallant but futile dash’ during the Crimean War.
Priest in Charge the Revd Alan Crawley said: “St Mark’s Church was built by the community and for the community in 1882 and a relationship with the Armed Forces has always been part of that.
“Right now servicemen and women are at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers and it is important to remember William Ellis, just as it is every soldier who has served their country. We are delighted to be welcoming members of today’s Army and associated organisations to the service.”
Mr Ellis had served throughout the Crimean War and been awarded medals for service at Balaclava, Inkerman and Sebastapol before moving to Hale after retiring from his regiment.
He continued his association with the Army by following various forms of employment at Aldershot Camp and this proximity to the new base of his former regiment meant that he was afforded a funeral on a remarkable scale.
A local paper at the time reported that almost 100 soldiers gathered for the occasion and the small coffin was at the centre of an ‘imposing pageant’.
It said: “Leading the way from the residence of the deceased to St Mark’s Church, only about a hundred yards, came the band of the regiment playing Beethoven’s Funeral March, and this was followed by a gun carriage of J Battery R.B.A bearing the coffin, covered by the Union Jack on which was laid the deceased’s sword, with his medals attached.
“Behind, a fine black charger, decked with black and white ribbons, and with the military boots of the old soldier reversed in the stirrups, was led by two grooms in long military black coats, and crepe-swathed helmets, and then came the long string of mourners led by the aged widow. Bringing up the rear were some 50 non-commissioned officers and men of the regiment (many of them bearing wreaths).”
Alan concluded: “I am sure Mr Ellis would have been staggered to see his own funeral – and quite probably even more so if he knew we would be marking his life 100 years later.
“The world of ‘fine black chargers’ may seem a long way away but the principles of honouring service are the same today.”

A Hale hero's memorial unites community

11 June 2013
A Hale hero's memorial unites community photo
A SPECIAL SERVICE marking 100 years since the passing of the last survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade has brought together the community of Hale, where the solider once lived.
It was with the same community spirit that the village of Hale gathered on 8 June 2013 to attend a memorial service for Mr William Ellis as that seen in 1883, when the village came together to collect flint and build St Mark’ church, Hale, where the service took place.  Mr William Ellis, a former resident of Upper Hale, served in the 11th Hussars throughout the Crimean War, and was awarded medals for service at Balaclava, Inkerman and Sebastapol.

Hale's hero

Members of the King’s Royal Hussars, The Royal British Legion and the Chelsea Pensioners all gathered at the special service held at St Mark’s church, where many details from Mr Ellis’ funeral were recreated.
The Revd Alan Crawley, of the Parish of Hale with Badshot Lea said: “A man rang up out of the blue about four months ago and said he had discovered that a soldier who had fought in the Charge of the Light Brigade had lived, and was buried, in this area.
“We did some research and found details of the original funeral for Mr Ellis held 100 years ago. We decided to use the same hymns and music that were in the funeral in a memorial service.” He said.

"A great opportunity to bring the village together"

The Chelsea pensioners and some representatives from his regiment met outside his old house in Hale, and recreated the same procession to the church that took place at his funeral.
During the service, the pensioners laid wreathes in memory, and the Hale History Society mounted a small display at the back of the church.
“I thought holding a service like this one would be a great opportunity to bring the village together and build on the community feel of the area.
“Representatives from the forces came as well as some of Mr Ellis’ family from London and Kent and a lot of people from the local community, as we had advertised the service in the local paper.
“I am sure Mr Ellis would have been staggered to see his own funeral – and quite probably even more so if he knew we would be marking his life 100 years later.” Alan Crawley said

This led me to a google search, and to find the UK Newspaper Archives  this is not a free site, but you can join for short periods, which is what I think I will do.  That way I can maximise my use of the site for a reasonable price.

So all those William's did lead to something good after all.

If you are a relative of William Ellis, come and join us on facebook at 
As the most famous William of them all said:

“What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”


  1. We share the same family tree

    1. Hi Elaine,
      How exciting, why don't you contact me on bk@hospitalpacks.com.au and we can share what ever information we have. Do you think we are long lost cousins?

    2. Barb sent my phone number by email

    3. Not sure if you are asking about relatives to William Ellis or to Elaine Moss, or are they one and the same. I am a relative of William Ellis. Perhaps I will e-mail the above address.


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