He saw action on the Western Front and was wounded three times, before being commissioned as an officer in September In , Ellis then was sent to Transcaspia , as part of the Malleson mission against the Bolsheviks in Turkmenistan; and he participated in the Afghan War of ; that same year, Ellis was awarded the OBE military for being a good soldier. He joined the Secret Intelligence Service in Paris in In he was brought back to England to supervise the German embassy's telephone lines. Ribbentrop's staff soon developed an uncharacteristic discretion during telephone conversations. Ellis was subsequently sent to Liverpool to establish a mail censorship centre.
In turn, Ellis landed as the new director of communications for Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, whom he has known since he was a young reporter and she was president of the Austin school board. He started in TV in , when his news director pushed him on camera, even though he wanted to stay in radio. Austin Chronicle: Were you actually scared of television? Dick Ellis:
His father was a clothing manufacturer. After the death of his wife, Ellis moved his family to Melbourne. He also played oboe with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society. He sailed to England in June