Leeds prepares moving salute to tragic soldier George Edwin Ellison

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More details have been announced about Leeds’s plans to honour George Edwin Ellison, the last British soldier killed in action during the First World War.

The Yorkshire Evening Post told earlier this month how Leeds Civic Trust was intending to commemorate George’s life with a plaque in his home city.

British soldiers in Belgium on their way to Mons during the First World War.

British soldiers in Belgium on their way to Mons during the First World War.

Now it has been confirmed that the plaque will be unveiled at Leeds City Station in a ceremony taking place at 9.30am on Wednesday, November 7.

The Trust is planning to print hundreds of mocked-up newspapers telling George’s story so they can be distributed to people passing through the station on the day.

It is hoped some of George’s relations will be able to attend along with a representative from his regiment, the 5th Royal Irish Lancers.

And today, with preparations for the event in full swing, a renewed appeal went out for people in Leeds to help cover the costs of the plaque and its unveiling.

Trust director Martin Hamilton said: “We are a quarter of the way to our £2,000 funding target, and thank all of those who have funded this campaign through the gofundme.com website, with cheques and with cash donations.

“We still need to raise more money to ensure that the occasion is a fitting memorial to George Ellison, and all of those Leeds people who were engaged in World War One.

“Thanks to publicity created, we have now identified a number of George’s relatives, who we hope will be able to attend the unveiling.”

George was aged 40 when he was shot on the outskirts of the Belgian town of Mons in November 1918, just 90 minutes before the Armistice brought an end to the Great War.

A miner by trade, he came from Richmond Hill and left a widow, Hannah, and a four-year-old son, James.

He is buried in the St Symphorien Military Cemetery near Mons, where his grave faces that of John Parr, the first British solider killed in the war.

To back the fundraising, visit www.gofundme.com and search for ‘George Ellison’.

A link to the donations page can also be found on the Leeds Civic Trust website.