David Ellison, Formerly of High Street, Orwell

A Tribute by Mrs Thelma Hollands

The following article first appeared in the June 1996 edition of the Orwell Bulletin

David literally lived and breathed history

David literally lived and breathed history, such was his love of the subject. I first met him through Bassingbourn Village College where he taught my sons among others a variety of subjects including English and History. David was also very involved in drama and the college produced some excellent plays during his time as a teacher there. He was so enthusiastic about all his work at the school and the children had a great respect for his brilliant mind: they were well aware that he was an Oxford graduate.

teaching career ended by horrific road accident

David's teaching career came to an abrupt end due to a horrific road accident at the notorious A14/A603 junction. His larynx was damaged and his marvellous speaking voice almost disappeared. However, in retirement he continued to work on the historical publications which he had initiated during his time at Bassingbourn V.C. Under the name “Ellison's Editions”.

he will be remembered for "Ellison's Editions"


One of his first booklets, printed by him at the village college to coincide with its Jubilee year and with the opening of Wimpole Hall by the National Trust in 1979, was “Wimpole as I knew it”, based upon the recollections of the Revd. Alexander Yorke of Wimpole. I would gladly lend my copy of this and another of David's booklets entitled “Wimpole amuses Victoria”, to anyone interested. These two publications have given me so much pleasure and help during my work as a steward at Wimpole Hall. David did an enormous amount of work for the National Trust in researching this great mansion's history, and his name still appears among the acknowledgements in the Wimpole Hall guide book. This alone is a nice memorial to him. It is strange how brilliant thinkers, writers and artists live on so that they become more famous after death. I'm sure this will be true of David, and that he will be remembered in Orwell for his love of history and his Ellison's Editions.

Mrs Thelma Hollands

David Ellison had a distinguished career as a District Officer in Nigeria after graduating at Oxford, and taught at Bradford Grammar School before coming to Cambridgeshire. He was a member of the Nelson Society and was working on some valuable research into the lives of ordinary seamen when he died in February 1996.

Sue Miller, Editor

This page was added by Martin Grigor on 16/01/2013.

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