"Tarzan" Ellis was born in Frizinghall, near Bradford, and his secondary
education was at Salt School, in Shipley, Yorkshire from 1906 to 1914.
At the age of 17 he went to Hatfield College, the second oldest college of
Durham University. There was a three year gap in his time there (1916-1919, possibly
while he was on War Service), and in 1920 he left with a BA(Hons) in Mathematics.
His first teaching job was at the private Tynemouth School, and he joined
the Boys' High School in June, 1922. He transferred to the new school in Harton
in 1936 as Senior Mathematics master, and on 1st May, 1948, he was appointed Deputy
During his 40-year stay in South Shields he was involved with several outside interests,
including secretaryship of the St Thomas's Parochial Church Council. He was also active
in the National Savings movement, and represented both the Boys' and Girls' schools
on the town's Savings Committee, as well as running the savings scheme at the Boys'
school (later taken over by Arnold Josephs).
Alf Headley wrote of him:
It was in September, 1932, at the Mowbray Road High School that I first met
Mr Ellis. In those days he was tall and slim, with jet black hair, dressed - surely
for the first time in the history of South Shields - in the crewcut style ... He
had laughing eyes and a wide grin. He was quite the best "Mixer" I have
ever met and at High School Coffee Suppers and Sports Days he moved round easily
and happil amongst the formidable assemblage dispensing urbanity and charm. Those
far away Coffee Suppers must also recall for many his annual rendering of "Uncle
Podger", which his audience used to know so well that it could prompt him though
his numerous lapses ... To us he was "Arthur", to the boys, "Tarzan",
I believe ...His hair went from black to grey to white, but his impish humour remained
the same ... Certainly he slowed down in his last year or so ... but it is good
to know that he has already shown indisputable evidence that he has found a new
zest in retirement.
Arthue Ellis retired at the end of August, 1962, when he moved to Sheffield, where he died early in 1978.