New drawing is fine tribute to Leeds war hero George Ellison

Suman Kaur's charcoal drawing of George Ellison.
Suman Kaur's charcoal drawing of George Ellison.
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A grainy image of Leeds war hero George Ellison has been given a vibrant new lease of life thanks to the talents of local artist Suman Kaur.

George’s sad fate as the final British soldier killed in action in the First World War attracted widespread media coverage during the build-up to the centenary of the Armistice at the weekend.

The original image of George Ellison.

The original image of George Ellison.

But the only confirmed photo of the 40-year-old in circulation is from a newspaper cutting that has definitely seen better days.

And when Suman noticed the tired-looking picture in a news report, she decided to create her own version and provide a more fitting representation of the man behind the tragedy.

The artist, a former winner of BBC One show The Big Painting Challenge, used charcoal for the A4 drawing, which she is now hoping will go on public display after being posted on Twitter.

Suman, from Roundhay, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “When I saw that pixelated image on TV, it seemed like such a shame. I knew I had to do something about it.

Suman Kaur.

Suman Kaur.

“I kept the drawing nice and simple and I’m really pleased with how it has turned out.”

George, from Richmond Hill, was shot while on patrol at Mons in Belgium just 90 minutes before the declaration of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

A plaque in his memory was unveiled by Leeds Civic Trust at Leeds City Station last Wednesday.

Trust director Martin Hamilton said today: “It was a lovely surprise when Suman posted her sketch of George Ellison on Twitter.

“It transforms a grainy image to a wonderful likeness and is a wonderful tribute to George.”