PRIVATE REGINALD RODGERS ELLERINGTON
WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT
30TH JUNE 1918 AGE 27
BURIED: LONGUENESSE (ST OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY, FRANCE
This is a very bitter inscription. It's not unusual to come across ones where the family have put a brave face on it and said: 'We asked life for him and thou gavest him life for evermore'. There are other inscriptions where the relations express their disappointment that God has not answered their prayers in the way they wanted but they are willing to acknowledge that God's will must be done, or that God knows best. This is not how Private Ellerington's mother felt; his family wanted him to live and God denied their prayers.
'Denied', it's a strong word, indicating the strength of Clara Ellerington's anger. But did Christ not say:
Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.
St John 13:13-14
To her thinking, her prayers had been denied.
Reginald Ellerington was a regular soldier. In 1911 he was with the 1st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment in India but at the outbreak of war he was with the 2nd Battalion in Malta. They returned to Britain in September and were sent to France on 5 November. The date qualified Ellerington for the 1914 Star. Between then and his death in June 1918, Ellerington served with 179 Tunnelling Co. Royal Engineers, with 18th Corps HQ and with the 15th/17th West Yorkshire Regiment. He died of wounds in St Omer, a large hospital centre, on 30 June.
Ellerington's younger brother, Herbert, was in the Merchant Marine serving on board the cargo ship SS Trewyn. The ship was carrying ore from Algiers to Middlesborough. She passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on 25 March 1916 and was never seen again.