Private Clarence Victor Adolphus Ellicott from Oakham had five brothers and a brother in law who all served in the First World War but he was the only one to die. He was killed when a German shell landed on his platoon as it was moving up to take part in a major trench raid near Lens in August 1917. Clarence was among eleven men who died, including three other soldiers from Rutland. Clarence was the son of William Ellicott and his wife of 14 John Street, Oakham and was born on 3 November 1893. Employed at a local shoe factory, he was in the Territorials, which he joined on the 23 May 1912, and went out to France in February 1915 with the 1st/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He took part in the Battle of Loos and fought at Gommecourt Wood on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was twice wounded and also suffered severe shell shock. Captain JD Hills in his book The Fifth Leicestershire described what happened on the day he died in August 1917: "On the 14th August, after a very happy fortnight at Fouquieres, we moved to the huts at Noyelles, where the special stores for the coming raid were issued. At the same time all the pay books, badges, identity discs and personal kits were handed in, and to each man was issued a small round cardboard disc with a number on it. The following morning we paraded at 10am, and marched through Vermelles to Lone Trench and Tenth Avenue, where we were to wait until it was time to assemble. On the way, "B" Company had a serious disaster. A shell, intended for one of our batteries West of Vermelles, fell on the Company as they were passing the Mansion House Dump. They were marching in fours and had practically a whole platoon wiped out, for eleven were killed and fourteeen wounded." The men were all buried in the same row at Philosophe British Cemetery. Clarence is in grave I.U.41 beside Fred Chambers of Caldecott, and close to Richard Corner of Exton and Thomas Woodcock of Oakham. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission names him as O Ellicott on his grave. He is also remembered on the war memorial in the grounds of All Saints' Church in Oakham.
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