An article in the Express & Star dated 8 June 1915 gives details of a Mrs Ellits, of 81 Pearson Street, who has received official notice of the death of her husband, Sergeant C. Ellitts [sic], aged 23, of the C Company, 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment.
Further details in the article include the fact that he had been in the army five years, and had been a gymnasium instructor at Aldershot before going to the front. Sergeant A. Busby, who wrote to Mrs Ellits, had also forwarded a photo of herself together with a five-month-old baby, who had been born after Sergeant Ellits departed for France so had never seen.
Finding this man has been practically impossible, despite trying numerous attempts at variations on his surname. I believe that his birth is that of a Cornelius Edward Ellis, whose birth was registered in Wolverhampton in December 1892. The marriage of this man was registered in Jun 1913 to an Annie F. Abbott-Nicholls. I have also found the birth of what is presumably his daughter, a Cornelia E. Ellitts, registered in March 1915 in Farnham, which would tie in with the Aldershot connection.
The National Archives has the medal card of a Cornelius Ellitts of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 8904), although he is a Corporal rather than a Sergeant. The Wolverhampton Roll of Remembrance lists a Sergeant Cornelius Edward Elliott, but does not have his Regiment detailed. He is also listed on the memorial to employees of Daniel Smith Ltd. This website suggests that he was killed in action on 16 May 1915, and confirms that he was the son of Joseph and Mary Ann Ellitts of 81 Pearson Street. His wife is given as an Annie Frances Meller (formerly Ellitts) of 283 Great College St. Camden Town, London, so she has clearly remarried. I have not been able to find confirmation of these facts on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, although it appears that some upgrades to the site may be causing some disruption to the service. He also appears on the St John’s Church War memorial.
If anybody is able to assist in tracking down this man, we would greatly appreciate it!