Tribute paid to war veteran who survived the Blitz in Sheffield

George Ellis pictured in 1941.
George Ellis pictured in 1941.
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A war veteran who recalled tales of surviving the Blitz in Sheffield during his ‘full and varied life’ has died aged 93.

George Ellis lived to tell the story of walking to work to an engineering factory as German bombs were dropping on the city around him.

George Ellis, who was an engineer in the RAF before being called back to be an engineer and then sent down the mines as a Bevan Boy - all during World War Two - and survived the Blitz - has died aged 93. George pictured in 2011.

George Ellis, who was an engineer in the RAF before being called back to be an engineer and then sent down the mines as a Bevan Boy - all during World War Two - and survived the Blitz - has died aged 93. George pictured in 2011.

The experiences of the former RAF engineer were recorded on tape and extracts will be played during his funeral at Hutcliffe Wood, Sheffield tomorrow.

George grew up on a farm in Ridgeway with his three brothers and a sister and started working at 14.

During World War Two he served in the RAF as an engineer before being called back to work in a Sheffield engineering factory. He also worked down the mines as a Bevin Boy.

George married Thelma in 1947 and the couple moved to Troway, Marsh Lane, near Eckington. They went on to have a son, Geoffrey, two grandsons and three great grandchildren.

Sadly, his wife died of breast cancer in 1985, but George continued to live in the house they shared for almost another 30 years.

Wendy Ellis, his former daughter-in-law, from Swallownest, said: “He lived in that same house for the rest of his life, 30 years of it on his own because his wife died of breast cancer in 1985.

“But they lived a full and active life together holidaying around Europe in their caravan, often taking friends with them.

“He liked to play the tables and visited casinos in Las Vegas when he was in his 70s, as well as London, Leeds, and, of course, Sheffield.”

It was while working at Laycocks Engineering Works, in Millhouses, that George became good friends with former RAF pilot George Thompson, whose funeral was attended by hundreds of people last year following an appeal to give him the send-off he deserves.

Wendy said he was saddened when he was unwell and unable to attend his funeral because he knew he was George’s ‘only living male friend’.

She added: “His son and grandsons are, like him, all engineers and his great grandson has just last week started work in the motor engineering industry, which was a passion and hobby of George. Some of his vast engineering knowledge has been passed on to them but sadly most of it is now lost forever – as is his knowledge of the history of Troway and its residents, past and present, where he lived for 68 years, only a couple of miles from where he grew up with his three brothers and sister on Bramley farm in Ridgeway.

“George got his wish, which was to continue to live at home until, almost, the end.”

George’s funeral will be held at Hutcliffe Wood, on Friday at 10.30am. All are welcome to attend.