Ellis Pomfret was born on 20 May and baptised on 7 July 1897 at Christ Church, Macclesfield, the son of Edith and Joseph Ellis Pomfret, a cotton drawer of 24 Water Street, Macclesfield.
In 1901, three-year-old Ellis was living at 2 Blagg Street, Macclesfield, with his parents and siblings Eliza (9) and John William (5). By 1911 the family had moved to 101 King Edward Street, Macclesfield and included another three boys: Arthur (8), Joseph (5) and Harry (2). Ellis had left school and was working as a newsboy for W H Smith and Sons, Market Place, Macclesfield.
Ellis enlisted in Manchester and was drafted to France in 1916. He was reported missing in the Macclesfield Times on 16 November 1917:
FATHER AND SON MISSING
News has been received by Mrs Pomfret, 31 Churchside, Macclesfield... that her son, Pte Ellis Pomfret, Manchester Regt, has been missing since October 9th. Pte Pomfret, who is 20 years of age, served in France for over 13 months. Whilst in training in England he took part in the military sports in London and was successful in winning three medals. Pte Pomfret was educated at Daybrook St School and on leaving was employed by Messrs W H Smith and Sons, Market Place. Later he went into the office of Miss Johnson, reed and harness maker, Chestergate. He afterwards obtained an appointment in Longsight and enlisted in Manchester.
A very sad circumstance is that his father, Lance-Corporal J E Pomfret, 1/7th Cheshire Regt. was reported missing on March 26th, after the battle of Gaza, and nothing since has been heard of him. He was an ardent supporter of the Labour cause and was formerly employed at the Lower Heyes Mill. A brother, Pte J W Pomfret, is now in Egypt with the 1/7th Cheshire Regt. He was with his father before the battle of Gaza, but did not go into action on that occasion, owing to illness, which necessitated his removal to hospital.
A later report in the Macclesfield Times, on 7 December 1917, gave the news that Pte Ellis Pomfret was assumed to have been killed in action:
PRIVATE E POMFRET KILLED
Mrs Pomfret, 31 Churchside, Macclesfield, received news from the Record Office on Saturday that her son, Pte Ellis Pomfret, Manchester Regt, who was previously reported as "missing," was killed in action on Oct 9th. Pte Pomfret was 20 years of age, and had served in France for over 13 months.
Private Ellis Pomfret has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 120 to 124 on the Tyne Cot Memorial, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Ellis Pomfret, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Ellis Pomfret is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael's Church war memorials.
Son of L/Cpl Joseph E Pomfret, who served with the 7th Cheshire Regt and was killed in action at Gaza on 26 March 1917; brother of Pte J W Pomfret, who also served with the 7th Cheshire Regt and is believed to have survived the war.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (Find My Past)
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 16 November and 7 December 1917, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.