Melling WW1 Memorial
WW1 was thought to be the war which would end all wars and a lot is known about this momentous time in history, but how much is known about the people who fought in it. We would like to pay tribute to the gallant men from Melling, who in some cases were fathers, sons, brothers and friends, who fought in this war, a war that left communities torn apart. This loss would have been no more apparent as in a small rural community like Melling, when generations of families would have been lost forever.
Within the Church of St Thomas and the Holy Rood stands a memorial to the 22 men from the area who fell in the First World War of whom 2 are buried within the grounds of the church and although they have long since gone they are not forgotten.
Second Engineer Frederick W Asquith, and his Father, also called Frederick William were part of the crew of the Merchant Navy ship, the SS Cliffburn. The father's position on the ship was Chief Engineer. The family home was 5 Berry Street Hull and 37 Elmdale Road Walton Liverpool. On the 22nd May 1918 the ship was in collision in the Irish Channel with the steamship SS Northumberland. The Cliffburn sank almost immediately with all her crew. The son's age is given as 22 years and the father as 57 years. Both their names are honoured in St Thomas's church Melling and their association with Melling is as yet unknown. As the ship sank due to an accident they are not recorded by the CWGC.
Company Serjeant 241268 T.H. Ball of the 2nd/5th battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment was born in Melling and until the age of 9 months was living at Bank Lane Melling along with his parents James aged 36 and his Mother Ann aged 38 along with their 6 children.
In 1901 the whole family were living at 9 Alice Street St Helen's and in 1911 the family are now living 54 Thompson Street Toll Bar St Helens.
In 1914 Ball was in the 2nd/5th battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment and in November proceeded to Blackpool for training. In 1915 the battalion moved to Tunbridge Wells in Kent for home service, principally for the defense of London. This continued throughout 1916, but on 16th February 1917 the battalion en trained for Folkstone and from where they sailed for France. The battalion saw service around the Armentieres area which at the time was considered a quiet area, but on Christmas Day 1917 the battalion received heavy German artillery fire and it was during this that Ball was killed. He is buried in Bluet Farm cemetery West Vlaanderen Belgium, he was 26 years old.
His name is not recorded on St Thomas's memorial in Melling but is honoured on the memorial at St John the Evangelist church, Ravenhead St Helens.
Private 13743 Joshua Blundell was the son of William and Jane Blundell of Town Meadow Cottage Melling. He was in the 8th battalion of the Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment), he was killed while taking part in the battle of the Somme on 10th July 1916, he was 22 years of age and his remains were never found. According to his army details, Joshua was 5' 9'' in height and was of a fresh complexion. His effects on his death, comprised a prayer book, some post cards and some photographs which were sent to his father William. Four months later another son Joseph was killed in action during the closing stages of the battle of the Somme. His name is honoured on the memorial in St Thomas's Church Melling.
Private 52390 Joseph Blundell of the Kings (Liverpool) Regiment was killed in action on the 15th November 1916, his remains were never found and his name, along with his brother Joshua are recorded, along with 72,246 others, on the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval, he was 32 years of age. His name is honoured in St Thomas's Church Melling. On the 10th January 1918, a third son Private 267761 William Blundell of the 2nd/7th Battalion of the Kings (Liverpool) Regiment and was killed just prior to the last German offensive of the war, the Kaiserschlagt, he is buried in the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery Armentieres France and was 34 years of age. His name is honoured on the memorial at St Thomas's church Melling.
Private S/10563 Thomas Edward Clark, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)was born in Melling in 1892, and according to the 1901 census was living with his parents, Edward aged 32 years and his mother Catherine aged 31 and their 5 other children in 82 Glover Street St Helens. In 1911 the family were living at 23 Ravenhead Cottages, St Helens. The parents had moved to Melling from Scotland about 1899 and Thomas and his father obtained work in the thriving Melling pottery business. Edward married Jane Bickerstaff in Prescot in 1914 and at that time they were living at 37 Market Street St Helens and it was from this address that Thomas enlisted on the 7th August 1914 into the South Lancashire Regiment with the Service number 2172. Sometime later Thomas transferred into the Cameron Highlanders and Black Watch. He was killed in action on the 22nd April 1916. His remains were never found. His name is recorded on the Basra Memorial in Iraq. He was 24 years of age, there are no local memorials honouring his name.
Private 10265 James Andrew Edwards, of the 1st battalion of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry was born in Melling but lived with his mother Agnes at 13 Caledonia Place Bristol, he had enlisted in Hereford and James died on the 22nd April 1916 aged 22 years. His name is recorded along with 54,399 other names on the Memorial to the Missing on the Menin Gate at Ypres Belgium. There are no local memorials honouring his name.
Private 31528 Thomas Ellis, the 4th battalion of the Kings (Liverpool) Regiment was the son of John and Eliza Ellis of Rock Lane Melling. He was born in Liverpool and had lived at 49 Tennyson Road Old Swan Liverpool.
He was killed on the 23rd April 1917 aged 20 years and is buried in Bucquoy Road Military Cemetery Ficheux near Arras France. His name is honoured on the memorial in St Thomas's church Melling.
Private 73369 John Glover of the 2nd battalion, The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was born in Melling and lived in Melling Rock's along with his parents Clara and Richard Glover and his three siblings. However after the 1911 census his father had died and his mother re-married taking the name”Merril” John died on the 28th November 1917 during the 3rd battle of “Ypres” which is known as the battle of Paschendael and his remains were never found. Consequently his name is recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot cemetery, Zonnebeke, West Vlaanderen Belgium. His age was 19 years of age and his address is given as 31 New Street St Helen's Lancashire. His name is honoured in St Thomas's Church Melling and St Helens.
Private G/19877 Alfred Grensted, Royal Fusiliers. Alfred Grensted was the son of Gertrude E Grensted of Egerton Hall, Victoria Park, Manchester, and of the late Reverend Canon Frederic Finnis Grensted. Private Alfred Grensted, was killed in action instantaneously by a piece of shrapnel, which passed through both his body shields. He was the younger son of the Rev. Canon Grensted, Diocesan Inspector of Schools and Vicar of Melling. And educated at the Merchant Taylor's' School, where he gained a scholarship, Private Grensted, was formerly resident at Waterloo. Since leaving school he was employed at the Bank of Liverpool. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers October 1915. While living in Waterloo he was a member of the local Rugby football club, and twice played half-back for Lancashire. Private Grensted lived at the Vicarage, Melling and he was 29 years of age. His name is honoured on the Memorial at St Thomas's church, Southport Civic Memorial, Crosby & Blundellsands Civic Memorial, Merchant Taylor's School, Waterloo Rugby Football Club, Bank of Liverpool and Martin's Bank. He died 15th September 1916 and is buried at the Guards Cemetery Lesboeufs France, he was 29 years of age.
Sergeant 12807 Albert Haskayne of the 11th battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment was one of three brothers who died in World War One, the other two were Private 64705 William Haskayne of the 16th battalion Lancashire Fusiliers and Private 47289 Charles William Haskayne of the 1st battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment.
A fourth brother Francis was invalided out of the forces after suffering a wound which necessitated his leg being amputated. Albert was aged 26 years when he was killed on 19th August 1916, during the battle of the Somme during one of the most vicious engagements of the war, the attempt to take a position known as High Wood (Bois des Fourceaux) Sergeant Haskayne had previously been mentioned in dispatches and is buried in London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval, the Somme.
A letter covering an item which appeared in the Ormskirk Advertiser states “
To the Editor of the Ormskirk Advertiser;
Sir-I think that the enclosed letter which is an honour for St Georges Maghull is deserving a place in your newspaper. I shall be glad if you will insert it in this week’s issue.
Will you kindly return the letter?
My Dear Mrs Haskayne- I am writing to offer my congratulations on the splendid work done by your son Corporal Haskayne.
He has been awarded a card by the General Commanding the Division “For gallant and meritorious” which practically means he is Mentioned in Dispatches. And he has earned it well. He was in charge of a body of men working by day in the communication trenches during the last heavy fighting and it was by his hard work that the trench which was constantly shelled was kept in sufficient repair to be of valuable use. He is the first in the battalion to win distinction and we in the company are very proud of him....I am yours sincerely,
Captain Commanding “C” Company.
In the Liverpool Echo on 25th August 1916 a notification appeared stating that Albert had been killed stated that he had enlisted aged 17 years. Albert was one of 11 children born to Mary and Charles Haskayne and they lived at Brewery Lane Cottages Melling. His name is honoured in St Thomas's church Melling.
Private 64705 William Haskayne of the 16th battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers was the youngest son of Mary and Charles and he was killed in the closing stages of the Great War and is buried at Ors Communal Cemetery near Le Cateau, he was 19 years of age. His name is honoured in St Thomas's church Melling.
Private 47629 Charles Haskayne of the 1st battalion the Kings (Liverpool) Regiment was their third and eldest son to be killed in the Great War, he was 36 years old and most probably died of his wounds/injuries on the 17th February 1917, and he is buried in Aveluy Communal Cemetery & Extension the Somme. His name is honoured at Maghull Civic Memorial. St Andrew's church memorial, St Andrew's school Maghull. Charles for a time lived at Nook Cottage, Taylor's Lane Maghull, and it was at this address that his widow Mary Agnes continued to live when she re-married and became Mrs Grayson.
Lance Corporal 33193 John Kirby was in the 17th battalion of the Kings (Liverpool) Regiment and was killed on the 3rd July 1916. He was killed somewhere near Montauban on the 3rd day of the battle of the Somme and his remains were never found. He was born in Bickerstaffe and lived at 71 Wigan Road Ormskirk. He was the eldest son of Mrs Jane Kirby. At the time of his death he was living in Rock Lane Melling. The 17th battalion was a Pals battalion and was known as the 1st City battalion. His name is honoured in St Thomas's church Melling and Liverpool Town Hall. He was 21 years of age.
Gunner 111769 Robert Kelly of the 8th battalion The Tank Corps was the husband of Martha Alice Kirby (nee Spencer) who he married in 1908 and the father of Isabel Kirby aged 9 years and Martha Alice Kirby aged 7 years. He was born at Knotty Ash Liverpool the child of George and Isabella. At the time of his death he was 32 years of age and had been employed as a crane rope runner, and lived with his family at Prescott Road Melling. He is buried at Heath Cemetery Harbonnieres France and his name is honoured in St Thomas's church Melling.
Private 203312 William Edward Locket 1st battalion Kings (Liverpool)Regiment was the son of Ellen & Thomas Locket of Melling Mount Melling and was about 22 years of age when he was killed. He died during the battle of Paschendael and his remains were never found. On the 9th April 1917 when on home leave, he and two others were summoned for playing pitch and toss outside the Pear Tree public house for which they were fined 21 shillings each.
His name is honoured in St Thomas's church Melling.
Corporal S/7937 Henry Mattocks, 1st battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) was the son of Mary Jane Mattocks. Corporal Henry Mattocks, of the 1st Black Watch, who lived at Melling, was killed in action in France 13th October 1915. He was 21 years of age and joined the Black Watch in January 1915 and was sent out to France in April. He was shot through the head, and death was instantaneous.
His sergeant-major described him as a good soldier, who died a noble death. Prior to joining up,
Corporal Mattocks was employed at the Melling Potteries, and was a member of the Melling Brass
Band. His remains were never found and his name is honoured in St Thomas's church Melling.,
Corporal S/7937 Henry Mattocks
Private 46866 Michael May Royal Welsh Fusiliers and Kings (Liverpool) Regiment was the husband of Ann nee Grady and had been born in Streamstown County Mayo in 1875. He had been living with his family in Waddicar Lane Melling and was employed by a local pottery. He died on 31st July 1917 aged 42 years and is buried in Wytschaete Military Cemetery. His name is honoured on the memorial in St Thomas's Church Melling.
Private 56666 Peter Guy Owen 3rd battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment) was the husband of Esther Owen (nee Green) of Church Lane Kirkby. He was born in Melling and in 1901 his mother by then a widow was the inn keeper of the Pear Tree Melling and Peter a stone mason. He married in 1911. He died 20th March 1917 and was 35 years of age. He is listed as died at sea and is buried in Plymouth Efford Cemetery Plymouth.
Private 50044 Frederick Rothwell 2nd/5th battalion Kings Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment was the husband of Anne Rothwell of Prescot Road Melling. He married his wife Snne Rushton in Southport in 1913.On the 1911 census he is recorded as a farm labourer, born in Kirkby and living with his mother Sarah. Other than the fact that his name is recorded on the memorial in St Thomas's church no other information can be found. He was killed on 26th December 1916 and is buried in the Military Cemetery at Duisans France, he was 26 years of age.
Private 41927 Peter Sharrock, Kings Own Scottish Borderers & Royal Army Service Corps, was one of thirteen children of Hannah (nee Cookson) and Jeffrey Sharrock. Hannah's father was Peter Cookson who was the licensee of the Tailor's Arms Public House in Ford, known to everyone as Cooksons. In 1911 the family were running a beerhouse in Melling called the Horse and Jockey. The father died in the Horse and Jockey on 13th June 1916. After the war Hannah became the manageress of the Red Lion public house in Scarification and had been the licensee of the Kings Arms public house in Ormskirk. Peter, formerly the licensee of the Three Crowns Hotel in Ormskirk and a well-known Melling footballer was killed in action in France on 26th August 1918. He has no known grave and his name is honoured upon the memorial at St Thomas's Church, Melling. St Thomas's Church Lydiate, Halsall War Memorial and St Cuthberts Church Halsall.
Rifleman 202753 Norman Strickland 5th battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment was the son of Christopher and Louisa Strickland. Prior to enlistment he had been a motor mechanic and lived with his widowed mother at the Mount Melling. He was killed in action on 2nd August 1917 and is buried at Mendingham Military Cemetery. From 1916 it was used as a casualty clearing station. It must be assumed that Norman died there of his wounds and or injuries. His name is honoured on the memorial in St Thomas's church Melling. At the time of his death he was 40 years of age.
Stoker 1st Class K/23450 Owen Silcock H.M.S. Tipperary was the son of Mark and Susannah Silcock of Taylor's Cottages Angers Lane Melling. On the afternoon of 31st May 1916 the British Grand Fleet came into action against the German High Seas Fleet off the coast of Jutland. Tipperary was a Faulknor Class Leader Destroyer, launched in 1915 and ordered by Chile but was taken over by the Royal Navy at the start of the War. During the battle of Jutland,Tipperary was sunk by the German Battleship Westfalin, before this she had contributed to the sinking of the German Battleship Freaunlob. Of her crew of 197, 184 were lost in the North Sea. Stoker Silcock has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. His name is also honoured at St Thomas's Church Melling. He died on 1st June 1916 aged 19 years.
Private 28355 John Vaughan South Lancashire Regiment was the youngest of five children of Jesse and Robert Vaughan who were married at St Michael's Church Aughton in 1892. The father Robert, came from Chester and his wife Jesse was born in Maghull. In 1901 the family were living at Sunnyside Turnpike Road Maghull and in Bedford Road Melling in 1911. He joined the South Lancashire Regiment in 1915 and was discharged due to ill health in 1918. He died on March 9th 1920 and is buried in St Thomas's Churchyard and his name is honoured upon the memorial there.
Private TR/3/12618 John Woods Training Reserve & Manchester Regiment, was the son of Alice(nee Tyrer) born in Melling and John Woods of Kirby Cottages, Rock Lane, Melling. Because he had never served overseas his family were not entitled to a war gratuity when he died on 22nd December 1916. John Died of pneumonia at Prees Heath Camp Hospital Whitchurch. He was 19 years of age. His remains were returned to his family and he rests in St Thomas's Churchyard Melling. His name is honoured in the Memorial within the church.
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