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.
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’)
Slaters Market St plays host to Abergele Camera Club’s exhibition on Saturday 16 August 2014. You’ll be able to see work by members, who are listed on the Abergele Camera Club’s website: Frances Del Prete, Alan Foulkes, Dewi W Jones, Donald Postles, Ernest Prendegast, Ern Ringwood, Gary Hughes, George Frost, Jill Bunting, Mal Hughes, Molly Blake, Ray Bicknell and Tudor Williams
Visitors on the day can experience willow artwork, bushcraft, storytelling, face painting, and more.
Organisers Woodland Trust say this will be a chance to see some of the improvements such as waymarked trails, benches, etc., with a £32,000 grant from Biffa Award.
There’ll be a minibus shuttle every 20 minutes or so from Tesco, Water Street bowling green, and opposite the Pensarn beach car park between 11.45 and 4.15.
My father’s generation knows the Llandudno to Manchester train as the Club Train. It’s the service that stops at Abergele. Here’s a snap of the train leaving Pensarn for Colwyn Bay, taken from the station bridge.
Cofia Abergele Remembers.
Recording lists of the names of some of the people from Abergele and those with links to the town who took part in WWI was a challenge that Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan students relished as one of the school’s community projects to remember 100 years since the Great War.
Head Lee Cummins, head of sixth form John Seymour, music department and technicians and of course the students rose to the occasion, as you can hear in Sophie Peake’s recording:
Apart from Sophie’s, there are another 17 recordings. The first live performance, thanks to Abergele Town Council’s Delyth MacRae, is after the St Michael’s Vigil on 4 August 2014.
The participants’ names were researched by historian Andrew Hesketh with audio post production by AbergelePost.com’s Gareth Morlais.
Here’s a list of students who made the recordings:
You can see some of the students below making their recordings using Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan’s Music Department studio.What’s poignant is that many of those who went to war a hundred years ago were a similar age to the young people whose voices you can hear listing the names. AbergelePost.com is grateful to these students for paying their respects.
Abergele Town Council in conjunction with the Abergele British Legion and St. Michael’s Church are holding a service of mark the commencement of the WWI commemorations on Monday 4th August 2014 at 7pm in St. Michael’s Church to reflect and remember.
It was at 11pm on 4 August 1914 that Germany declared war on Belgium. Great Britain gave Austria-Hungary an ultimatum to stand down from hostilities. When Austria-Hungary didn’t comply, a state of war was declared.
After the service, Abergele Town Council’s Delyth McRae has arranged for recordings of Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan students listing the names of of some of the participants in WWI with a connection to Abergele. This is the list researched by Abergele war historian Andrew Hesketh. The recordings, produced by AbergelePost.com, are called Cofia Abergele Remembers. There’ll be more information about them here soon, including names of the Emrys students who took part in the recordings.
Photo credit: Keltek Trust