Mark Ellis

English Channel Swim

Mark William Ellis (1965-2019)

Mark's Canadian Aunt (in law) once said, everyone is born with a date stamped on their butt, like an egg.  

If that was true for Mark, then someone kept crossing out the date on his bum, and pencilling in a later one.

Whether it was misadventures with knives or falling out of trees playing Robin Hood, extreme endurance tri-cycling for the under 5s, knocks on the head playing rugby for England U18s or active service as a Royal Marine Commando, Mark had enormous (and sometimes reckless) passion and courage for life and adventure.

Mark's adages probably were:

- live life to the full;

- don't settle for or be determined by your limits or past;

- (lately), just keep swimming

Mark's most recently planned swimming challenge (English Channel September 2019) will instead have to be attempted by the balance of the relay team without Mark, but with his tenacity and courage as their inspiration.

He was determined that the legacy of that swim would be the funding for a marathon swim pod in Fiji in October 2019.  And if there is funding beyond that, to support Ryde Rehab's Return2Sport programme.

If you would like to donate and leave some words in memory of this lion of a man, that would be awesome.  But even if not, know that Mark very much shared the spirit of Philippe Croizon who said he wanted to swim the Channel "for myself, my family and all my fellows in misfortune who have lost their taste for life".  Let Mark inspire you to live life (whatever life that may be).  Go and test your limits and never ever give up.

Vale Mark. Veni. Natavi. Vici.

Thank you to my Sponsors


Peter Saliba



Vale Mark. I will always value your friendship & support & can only try to follow your example when life hands out its knocks. JC


Annie And Simon

It is hard to put into words what Simon and I feel about Mark's death. Yes such a lion of a man with a presence that filled more than his physical space ( especially after he became so trim and tort from all his incredible training!!!! ). His life story is so amazing - he lived many more lives than most of us can imagine- what ever life through up at him - he had courage, dignity and a smile on his face. His love and devotion to Lizzie is something we can all aspire to in our relationships. Mark it is hard to believe you are no longer on this earth - but we know you will be swimming and cheering from the sidelines where ever that may be. You will be giving your team the lift they need when the going gets tough. Au revoir Mark


Leslie Howatt

Vale Mark... such an inspiration to so many! To Liz and the rest of the team, you are all equally inspiring, and I'm sure you'll do Mark proud. xx


Elizabeth Stewart

Mark and Lizzie and the team. I am filled with admiration for you and all the stuff you do for others. I hope it’s a great swim


Al & Nazanin Gillett

Mark, your energy, tenacity, courage and determination continues to influence and was so great to be around. Through your thoughtful words and inspiring actions you impacted me and contributed to the lives of many others. Thank you for so much, we will miss you mate


The Coopers

RIP our beautiful neighbour. We were so fortunate to know you.


Lauren Elder

Mark you inspired me. Whilst I met you as your teacher in surf life saving you quickly became my teacher in lots of life lessons. Lizzie and Mark's family please know we are wrapping you in our collective embrace of thoughts and love. Channel team no doubt Mark's mantra Veni. Natavi. Vici. will be in your mind with each stroke and you will shout it when you land on French soil! I am so saddened by your loss Mark. You were a lion of a man and I admired your resilience, courage, determination and generousity. My life is richer for knowing you and you will be so missed but never forgotten. It was a privilege x


Netti And Martin Vavrek

A lion of a man, that is for sure! We are so saddened to hear that the world has lost such a beautiful human. Mark squeezed all that he could out of every day, with great spirit and determination. He found possibility in everything and gave generously. @Lizzie, all our love to you and both families. @the Channel team - go get 'em! Enjoy the journey to France. We'll be cheering you all the way. Just keep swimming Mark, wherever you may be. Love, Netti and Martin (#Vladders) xx


Daina Elliott

A huge smile and constant words of encouragement, an inspiration to all, you will be missed by so many Mark. Will be sending love, thoughts and hugs to you tomorrow Lizzie xxxx


Stephanie & Emma & Sam

Mark, you and your exceptional lemonade making skills will always be remembered!!


Emma Chen

Mark, I will miss you in all kind of ways, you trusted me and gave me encourage to take on any challenges. Thank you for being in my life. I feel lost without you, but I will be strong and keep challenge myself until reach the top. I know this is what you want to see me to achieve. And I will do it for you. Thank you for being a friend, a work dad and a mentor of mine. Love


John V

Mark you are an inspiration to us all with your endeavors and accomplishments in life. A sad loss and you will be missed by many. Lizzie my condolences and hugs.


Gill Shearman

Mark, so loved, so enjoyed by all Always will inspire others. Hugs to all


Jenny And George Saliba

Dearest Lizzie, we share in your pain at the passing of Mark. He was an amazing man that bought such fun and wonder to our time together. His incredible life experiences. He will be grately missed. All our love George and Jenny




Dellanie Burke

Mark you will be so missed. An incredible guy who achieved and strived for so much. A true inspiration to me and many. Lizzie and family, I send you love and you are in my thoughts.


Jo Polles

Lizzie, I knew Mark only through your stories and anecdotes and it has always left me amazed that two people fit so much into one lifetime. You had that zest for life in common and I know you will continue his legacy. I am so very sorry for your loss. Jo xx


St George Novated Brisbane

You were more than a fierce leader, you were a mentor, our biggest cheerleader and above all a friend who was always there when we needed you. Your zest for life and daily enthusiasm was infectious and the contribution you made to our team was immeasurable. Thank you for the sharing your amazing life stories with us - when we met you, we knew you were someone special who would make such a positive impact on all our lives. We will raise a glass or 2 in your honour today. You will be sorely missed within the team. Love, QLD Novated Team


Marie Hewson

We are all grieving Marks loss. Swim in his memory team. Good luck


Bernadette Ellis


Mel Junghans

Thanks for all the encouragement.


Reyna Matthes Consulting


Julia Macdonald

Mark, your spirit will forever inspire others in Can Too and in life.

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