George Ellis Ormerod


Corporal 6844566
2nd Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps

George Ellis Ormerod died on 7 September 1944, aged 31, and is buried in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery (Grave Ref. 11. G. 18).

The site of Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery was selected by the British Occupation Authorities and Commission officials jointly in 1945, soon after hostilities ceased. Graves were brought to the Cemetery from the Berlin area and from eastern Germany (Leipzig, Konigsberg, Iena, Dresden, Halle, Rostock, Teltow, Wismar, Mittenwalde, Neuburzdorf, Magdeburg, Grunberg, Doberitz, Buchholz, Halberstadt, Blankenburg, Gotha, Tannenburg, Potsdam, Weder, Tessau, Stralsund, Schweren, Munsdorf, Brandenburg and Schonwalde).

The great majority of those buried here, approximately 80 per cent of the total, were airmen who were lost in the air raids over Berlin and the towns in eastern Germany. The remainder were men who died as prisoners of war.

The Army Roll of Honour 1939-45 records that George was born in Hertfordshire and resided in London.

Research by Eleanor Webb has revealed the following.

"According to the International Red Cross documentation, George was captured at St Valery on 12 June 1940 [during the France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40].

The Red Cross holds two German documents and a 'capture' card for George, whose POW number was 1435.

George originally enlisted in the Army on 31 January 1931, aged 19 and had only signed out of the Army a matter of months prior to being re-called. According to relatives, he was adept at languages and was used as an interpreter at Stalag IXc. He was also used to do electrical work within the nearby town (Bad Sulza) and worked within the salt mines.

A book called Ticket to Hell via Dieppe was written by a Canadian prisoner of war at Stalag IXc. In this book it's described how "On June 5, a British POW, one of the originals held since Dunkirk, calmly walked through the open gates as the potato wagon rumbled in. The surprised guard watched him with mouth agape, not believing his own eyes. He finally realised what was happening and let out a yell, alerting the others in the nearby guardhouse. They came tumbling out and raced down the road after the fleeing prisoner. We figured that to walk out in broad daylight, right under their noses, was a spur of the moment act of desperation brought on by the long incarceration and the increased tension within the camp. After about two hours, the man was dragged back to the camp, bleeding from the ear and the side of the head, where he had been beaten with rifle butts. That evening, he was taken to the hospital and we learned later that he had escaped from there and was killed under a moving train."

Within this book is a list of some of the many POWs, who died either whilst escaping or from refusing to work. Cpl Ormerod is listed amongst them with a description "Killed during bid for freedom (S)" It would appear that the (S) stands for 'Shot' which contradicts the previous 'official' info."

George is commemorated on the war memorial at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

George's elder brother, Bruce Ormerod, fought with the Hertfordshire Regiment during the First World War.

George's grave in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery

(Photo courtesy Eleanor Webb)

The original grave marking on George's grave

(Photos courtesy Eleanor Webb)

Rickmansworth War Memorial, with George's name commemorated