ELLISTON, William Edgar

No.60593, Private, William Edgar ELLISTON
Aged 28

23rd Battalion, Machine Gun Corps
formerly PS/11323, Royal Fusiliers
Killed in Action on Saturday, 15th June 1918

William Edgar Elliston was born in Bildeston (Cosford Q3-1889 4A:666), son of Edgar Henry and Sarah ELLISTON (née WEBB).

1891 census...Aged 1, he was at Chapel Street, Bildeston with his father Edgar Henry ELLISTON [37] grocer's assistant; his mother Sarah [40] born Ipswich; sisters Emily Elizabeth [10], Edith Sarah [8], Laura Jane [6] and Ellen Mary [5]. All except his mother were born in Bildeston.

1901 census... Aged 11, he was "near The Arms", Kedington with parents (father now a baker); sisters Eidth, Jane, and Kate [9]; brother Jack [5]. The new siblings were born in Bildeston.

1911 census...Aged 21, assisting father, he was at Kedington with his parents (father in business as a bread baker); sisters Emily, Edith, Laura and Kate; brother John (Jack). All the children assisted in the business. Three of the nine siblings had died.

He enlisted in Haverhill
The 14th Corps relieved the Italians between Asagio and Canove in March 1918. On 15th June 1918 Austrians attacked in force from Grappa to Canove, the Allied line being penetrated to a depth of about 1,000 metres on 15 June but the lost ground was retaken the next day. An extract from a letter from the Lieutenant to William's father:-
"On 15th Junw 1918 he was on a gun team under my charge and in a very advanced position near Asiagon. At 3 am the Austrian offensive started and the shelling around the position was very heavy. About 5;45 am a shell fell directly on the position killing your son and another man instantly."

It has been said (unsubstantiated) "The Lieutenant and a Corporal were the only survivors from 14 men on the two gun positions. They were buried nearby, but later exhumed and moved to Granezza". No concentration card however has been found on CWGC. A visit to the National Archive wil be necessary as the War Diary has not yet been digitised- WO95/4233 refers.

photo from Rodney Gibson

William Elliston is buried in Granezza British Cemetery, grave 2:E:11

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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