100 years ago today at Mons

On 23 August 1914 at Mons, Belgium, Captain Walton Mellor, of Tanybryn, Abergele’s was killed.

Walton was the son of Colonel John Edwin Mellor of Tan-y-Bryn Abergele.

He was the first WWI death of a soldier from Abergele.

 

Captain Walton Mellor. Photo via Andrew Hesketh.
Captain Walton Mellor. Photo via Andrew Hesketh.

 

Here is a full account of Walton Mellor’s story now by Andrew Hesketh:

The elder son of Colonel John Edward Mellor of Tan-y-Bryn, Abergele, Walton Mellor was born on the 27th of June 1878 and educated at Rossall School. He joined the Lancashire Fusiliers from the Militia in December 1899, becoming Lieutenant in May 1900 and Captain in June 1905. He served in South Africa (the Boer War) in the Transvaal, Natal, the action at Laing’s Nek and in the Orange River Colony. From January 1901 to May 1902, in the Transvaal, he acted as Railway Staff Officer. He was awarded the Queen’s Medal with 4 clasps and the King’s Medal with two clasps. In 1908 he transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment. Between 1910 and 1914 he was in charge of a company of cadets at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, returning to the Royal Irish full time in January 1914. He married Kathleen Geraldine Helen Wellesley 31 March 1910. Her Great Grandfather’s brother was Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington of Peninsular War and Waterloo fame, a fact that undoubtedly Walton would have mentioned from time to time in the Officer’s mess. They had a daughter, named Kathleen Florence, who was born in 1911. Walton was killed in action, Battle of Mons, 23 August 1914.

“The Royal Irish had just before sent up two companies to support us in the centre … and to cover the retirement of B Company. It was with this lot that I saw Captain Mellor of the Royal Irish killed. I was by his side talking to him about the position when a shell exploded close above our heads and a splinter went right through his head. This alarmed his men very much for when I went back to the CO to tell him what had happened I heard the men at the other end of his Coy talking about the Captain being killed.” Lt. Woolcombe, Adjutant of the 4th Middlesex.

Walton’s widow, Kathleen, wasted little time in planning a lasting memorial. A Vestry meeting was held at the parish church of St. Michael’s on 14 January 1915 at which the members considered the design and wording of tablet that Kathleen had proposed. The Vestry meeting approved both aspects and submitted an application to the Chancellor of the Diocese of St. Asaph on 12 February 1915 for a Faculty to erect the memorial. The Faculty was duly granted and in due course the memorial was erected and unveiled by the Dean of St. Asaph to a packed church on Sunday 27 June 1915. Hung on the north aisle wall, directly opposite the entrance from the porch, the memorial remains one of the most noticeable in the church. Walton Mellor left a 3 year old daughter and a grieving wife. Kathleen was to live a long life, spending 68 years as a widow. She died on 9 December 1982, having reached the age of 100.

Walton lies in Plot II. A. 3., St. Symphorien Military Cemetery, Mons, Hainaut, Belgium.

He is not forgotten

(Extracts from ‘Dros Ryddiad Collasant eu Gwaed’)

2 thoughts on “100 years ago today at Mons

  1. Andrew Hesketh:

    The elder son of Colonel John Edward Mellor of Tan-y-Bryn, Abergele, Walton Mellor was born on the 27th of June 1878 and educated at Rossall School. He joined the Lancashire Fusiliers from the Militia in December 1899, becoming Lieutenant in May 1900 and Captain in June 1905. He served in South Africa (the Boer War) in the Transvaal, Natal, the action at Laing’s Nek and in the Orange River Colony. From January 1901 to May 1902, in the Transvaal, he acted as Railway Staff Officer. He was awarded the Queen’s Medal with 4 clasps and the King’s Medal with two clasps. In 1908 he transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment. Between 1910 and 1914 he was in charge of a company of cadets at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, returning to the Royal Irish full time in January 1914. He married Kathleen Geraldine Helen Wellesley 31 March 1910. Her Great Grandfather’s brother was Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington of Peninsular War and Waterloo fame, a fact that undoubtedly Walton would have mentioned from time to time in the Officer’s mess. They had a daughter, named Kathleen Florence, who was born in 1911. Walton was killed in action, Battle of Mons, 23 August 1914.

    “The Royal Irish had just before sent up two companies to support us in the centre … and to cover the retirement of B Company. It was with this lot that I saw Captain Mellor of the Royal Irish killed. I was by his side talking to him about the position when a shell exploded close above our heads and a splinter went right through his head. This alarmed his men very much for when I went back to the CO to tell him what had happened I heard the men at the other end of his Coy talking about the Captain being killed.” Lt. Woolcombe, Adjutant of the 4th Middlesex.

    Walton’s widow, Kathleen, wasted little time in planning a lasting memorial. A Vestry meeting was held at the parish church of St. Michael’s on 14 January 1915 at which the members considered the design and wording of tablet that Kathleen had proposed. The Vestry meeting approved both aspects and submitted an application to the Chancellor of the Diocese of St. Asaph on 12 February 1915 for a Faculty to erect the memorial. The Faculty was duly granted and in due course the memorial was erected and unveiled by the Dean of St. Asaph to a packed church on Sunday 27 June 1915. Hung on the north aisle wall, directly opposite the entrance from the porch, the memorial remains one of the most noticeable in the church. Walton Mellor left a 3 year old daughter and a grieving wife. Kathleen was to live a long life, spending 68 years as a widow. She died on 9 December 1982, having reached the age of 100.

    Walton lies in Plot II. A. 3., St. Symphorien Military Cemetery, Mons, Hainaut, Belgium.

    He is not forgotten

    (Extracts from ‘Dros Ryddiad Collasant eu Gwaed’)

  2. Robin Mellor:

    I am a member of the Great War Society living history group. I’ve just returned from a week in Belgium and France where we visited the battle fields of Mons and Le Cateau. On 23rd August we supplied the guard of honour to the ceremony in St Symphorien Cemetery. Whilst at the cemetery I noticed Capt Mellor’s grave. Having the same surname as me I obviously took an interest in this. As far as I’m aware he’s not a relative of mine though, not being a common surname, I’m sure we probably share some distant ancestor somewhere in the Mellor family history.

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