Ellis Cohen

Ordinary Seaman, H.M.S. Kelly
Service number C/JX 196806
Died 23 May 1941
Commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial
Age 24

Ellis was born on 30 November 1916 In Manchester, England to Poland born parents Aaron, a tailor, and Lena nee Berman and he had a younger sister Sarah. In 1939, the family lived at 99 Heywood Street, Manchester and Ellis was working as a cloth merchant.

Ellis joined the Royal Navy at the outbreak of war and was serving on HMS Kelly when he was killed. The captain of the ship was Lord Louis Mountbatten and the ship was lost during the Battle of Crete. Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten had been withdrawing at full speed since dawn and at 0755 hours, after surviving two air attacks without suffering damage, he was about 13 nautical miles to the southward of Gavdos Island when his ships were attacked by a force of 24 Ju.87 dive bombers. A large bomb struck the Kelly while she was doing 30 knots under full starboard rudder. She turned turtle to port with considerable way on, and after floating upside down for about half an hour, finally sank. In accordance with earlier practice the dive bombers then machine-gunned the survivors in the water, killing and wounding several.