No. 16322, 6th Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers)
Killed in action on Friday 10 September 1915 (aged 26)
No known grave
Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey (Panel 178 to 180)
Ballyclare and District Roll of Honour
Comber and District War Memorial
First Comber Presbyterian Church
Family grave headstone in Comber Cemetery
Ellis Oliver was born on 19 June 1888 in Ballyclare, County Antrim and, at civil registration, his forename was misregistered as Alice rather than Ellis. Ellis Oliver was baptised on 20 October 1888 in Kilbride Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Bride’s) and in that record his forename is correctly recorded but his date of birth is recorded as 6 July 1888. When Ellis Oliver joined the Royal Navy in July 1909 he declared his date of birth to be 19 June 1891.
Ellis Oliver was the eldest son of Andrew Johnston Oliver and Mary Oliver (nee Brown) who were married on 25 January 1887 in Kilbride Parish Church of Ireland Church Doagh, Ballyclare. Andrew Johnston Oliver, a 21-year-old bachelor from Ballyclare was a tailor and he was a son of John Oliver, a farmer. Mary Brown, an 18-year-old spinster from Ballyclare was a milliner and a daughter of William Brown, a watchman.
The Oliver family moved from Ballyclare to Belfast where they lived at 40 Berlin Street and 125 Silvio Street and then to Comber where they lived in Bridge Street and Castle Street.
Andrew Oliver was a merchant tailor and he and Mary had nine children (1911 census declaration). The following nine births have been found:
Ellis (registered as Alice, born 19 June 1888 in Ballyclare, Co Antrim)
William (born 3 June 1890 at 125 Silvio Street, Belfast; died of laryngeal sarcoma 15 July 1903 in Castle Street, Comber)
Mary (born 2 May 1892 at 40 Berlin Street, Belfast)
Mabel (born 3 March 1897 in Bridge Street, Comber, Co Down; died of diarrhoea 16 September 1897 in Bridge Street, Comber)
John (born 5 September 1899 in Comber)
Matilda Agnes (born 27 January 1902 in Castle Street, Comber, Co Down; died 9 July 1921)
Helen (Ellen, born 18 May 1903 in Castle Street, Comber, Co Down; died of diarrhoea 31 July 1903 in Castle Street, Comber)
Isabella (born 26 July 1906 in Castle Street, Comber, Co Down; died of diarrhoea 6 September 1906 in Castle Street, Comber)
Mabel (born 4 March 1910 in Castle Street, Comber, Co Down)
The six youngest children were baptised in First Comber Presbyterian Church.
On 5 November 1897 Andrew Johnston Oliver joined Masonic Lodge No. 46 in Comber and he resigned from it in June 1912.
In the 1901 census for Castle Street, Comber Ellis Oliver (aged 12) and born in Co Antrim was listed. In the 1911 census Ellis Oliver was listed as a stoker stationed in Chatham Royal Navy Barracks. In his Navy papers the following details are recorded:
Born 19 June 1891 in Ballyclare; 5 feet 3½ inches tall; dark complexion; hazel eyes; black hair; figures of two boxing men tattooed on his right arm; served from 20 July 1909 until 19 October 1909 (Service No. 108923); purchased discharge for £10; £5 refunded on re-entry 17 January 1911; dismissed from HM Service 18 December 1911.
During the Great War, Ellis Oliver served with the 6th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers in 31st Brigade of the 10th (Irish) Division and he was 27 when he was killed in action on 10 September 1915 at the Dardanelles.
Private Ellis Oliver (No. 16322) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Helles Memorial in Gallipoli; in Ballyclare and District Roll of Honour (written and compiled by Eddie Beck and Graeme Baird); on Comber and District War Memorial; in First Comber Presbyterian Church and on the family grave headstone in Comber Cemetery. It is noted there that four of his siblings died in infancy.
Ellis’s father, Andrew Johnston Oliver, died on 4 October 1940 (aged 72).
Ellis’s mother, Mary Oliver, died on 14 February 1949 (aged 73).