Sapper Ellison was the first Benfleet man to die in the First World War. His sister gave his medals to local military historian Len Hawkins in the 1970s and Len has spent the time since then trying to get official recognition of Sapper Ellison.
A recent building project by Moat Homes provided this when they agreed to name their new road Sapper Ellison Way. The Borough Council have also taken Sapper Ellison’s medals and put them on permanent display in the atrium of the Castle Point Council Offices.
The road was officially named by the Mayor of Castle Point, Cllr. Steven Cole, on Monday 20th June 2016. There were three representatives from the Royal Engineers present to witness it. The party then went back to the Council Offices for the Armed Services Day ceremony.
Official Naming Speech by The Mayor of Castle Point
I hereby formally name this public street as Sapper Ellison Way.
Stanley Thomas Ellison was 21 years old when he was killed at the Battle of Mons on 23rd August 1914. He was a Sapper in the Corps of Royal Engineers and was shot dead by a German Sniper. Sapper Ellison joined the Royal Engineers two years before War was declared and went to France with the British Army First Expeditionary Force.
Stanley lived close to this place with his mother and father and sister Hilda at the Rosary in South Benfleet which later became Manor Road.
Stanley was the first resident of Benfleet to be killed in the First World War and he is also the first recorded casualty from Castle Point to perish in the conflict.
The naming of this new street as Sapper Ellison Way will ensure that he is not forgotten and that his name lives for evermore and that the Borough’s proud association with the Royal Engineers is made known.
Note – A Sapper often referred to as a pioneer or combat engineer is a soldier who performs a wide range of military engineering duties such as bridge building, laying or clearing mine fields , demolition, the construction of trenches and roads. The Sappers main task is to build fortifications and assist the movement of troops but they are also trained to serve as infantry soldiers in defensive and offensive operations.