Born: March 1st 1919
Died: September 14th 1942
Victor was the fourth son of John Craven Ellis and his wife Edith Blanche Francis. He was born in Eastry, Kent.
He was educated at St Edward’s School, Oxford from 1933-1938 and Matriculated in 1938. He was up at Christ Church for one year,
His record at St Edward’s states:
“He was an outstanding student at the school both scholastically and on the sports field, representing the school at rowing, swimming, squash and diving. He was in the school's rowing VIII for three years (1937-1939 inc), a record feat in itself and was Captain of Boats in his final season. The school magazine of the time describes him as 'being a leading member of the VIth Form which contained some astonishing ability which will be remembered for a long time. In personality he was breezy, open and genuinely friendly, never presuming'. He was also a Sergeant-Major in the school's Cadet Force. While at the school he was a contemporary of Guy Gibson who led the Dambuster's Raid - both in the same House, Cowell's.
At the outbreak of war he joined the Royal Marines, Marine Expeditionary Force and was killed in action in September 1942, aged 23 years. He was aboard the H.M.S. Zulu which was sunk in Tobruk Harbour. He left the school £100 to be used for the endowment of Geography prizes.”
He was gazetted as a temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Marines on March 7th 1940.
In 1942, he was serving in the Mediterranean, at the rank of Captain and his parents were living in Oxford at 18 Rawlinson Road.
Deployed on September 11th 1942 as part of “Operation Agreement" for assault landings at Tobruk, the Zulu embarked a detachment of Royal Marines and then made passage on September 12th to Tobruk with the destroyers Sikh, Aldenham, Beaufort, Exmoor, and Hurworth.
On September 13th, whilst attempting to land the Royal Marines at Tobruk, the Zulu came under heavy fire from shore batteries. On September 14th, the Zulu took HMS Sikh in tow after she had received serious damage from the shore batteries. During the towing operation, HMS Sikh sank just offshore from Tobruk. One hundred and fifteen men were lost, and many more were taken prisoner.
The remaining ships were under heavy aerial attacks throughout the day, during which HMS Coventry caught fire and had to be abandoned. HMS Zulu then sank the Coventry. The aerial attacks on the ships continued and HMS Zulu was hit and disabled after sustaining major damage. She was taken in tow by HMS Hursley, but sank 100 miles north-northwest of Alexandria at position 32.00N 28.56E at a depth of over 2300metres.
Twelve crew members were known killed, 24 listed as missing, and one crew was injured during the battle and the subsequent sinking of the ship
Victor is buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery Plot XVIII. A. 6.
With acknowledgement to St. Edward’s School, Oxford.
Registered Charity Number: 1143423