Theresa May confirms new tribute to tragic First World War soldier from Leeds

The life and tragic death of Leeds soldier George Ellison will be commemorated by Theresa May later this week as Europe marks the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Theresa May.
Theresa May.

George, a 40-year-old father from Richmond Hill, was the last British soldier killed in action during the conflict, dying just 90 minutes before the Armistice took effect.

And today it was confirmed that Mrs May will lay a wreath at his grave when she visits the St Symphorien Military Cemetery, near Mons in Belgium, on Friday.

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The Prime Minister will also lay a wreath at the cemetery in memory of the first British soldier killed in action in the war, John Parr, who is buried opposite George.

She will then travel to France to attend a ceremony at a memorial to the victims of the Battle of the Somme.

Mrs May said: “The killing ields of France and Belgium are scarred by the horrors of war, but the strength and closeness of our relationship today is a testament to the journey our countries have travelled together.

“I’m proud to represent the immense gratitude of our nation at these commemorations and share these moments of reflection with our friends and partners in Europe.”

Details of Mrs May’s visit to Belgium were announced ahead of the dedication of a new tribute to George in Leeds.

A plaque in his honour will be unveiled by Leeds Civic Trust at Leeds City Station in a ceremony at 9.30am this Wednesday.

The ceremony is due to be attended by a number of George’s relations and representatives of his old regiment.