William Ellis was the son of Richard and Hannah Ellis. They were originally from Magherafelt but they went to live in Scotland and then on to the north of England. William L Ellis was born about 1881 in Grangetown, Yorkshire. By 1901, William was living with his aunt, Esther Ellis in Castledawson, County Londonderry. William was a labourer. William Ellis married Alice Evans on 20th August 1914 in the parish of Magherafelt. William enlisted in Clandeboye, Co. Down. They were living in Toome at the time. Corporal William Ellis was serving with the 11th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he was killed in action on 1st September 1916. He was 36 years old.
Ypres (now Ieper) is a town in the Province of West Flanders. The Memorial is situated at the eastern side of the town on the road to Menin (Menen) and Courtrai (Kortrijk). Each night at 8 pm the traffic is stopped at the Menin Gate while members of the local Fire Brigade sound the Last Post in the roadway under the Memorial's arches.