Walter (Wammy) Mellors (1895–1963)

Lance Corporal

Sherwood Foresters (Notts and DerbyRegiment) 2771 & 200686 2nd/4th Battalion

Photo courtesy Crich Heritage Partnership

Photo of Walter Mellors

Walter was born in 1896 and worked in the stone quarries. He was one of the first to enlist during October 1914 and he entered France in June 1915. In 1916 he was wounded in the right wrist and taken prisoner at Gommecourt. He was conveyed to a PoW camp in cattle trucks without food or water for days and whilst at Soltau camp he was engaged in farm work. He married Eva Thompson in 1922.
After the war Wammy Mellor was a member of the Crich United Silver Prize Brass Band.

Crich Brassband

Taken in 1952 outside Crich Baptist Chapel.
Standing: G. Hickman, A. Leafe, C. Fantom, J. Holmes, J. Perry, A. Swindell, T. Lester, J. Hancock, D. Swindell, A.Morley (snr), Burnam, Jack Else
Seated: F. Wood, Mason, Walter Mellors (big drum), S Hollingsworth, F. Mellor, H. Harper
Front row: M. Lester, T. Beresford, P. Byard, B. Beresford

He enlisted at the same time as Alfred Bollington, John Thomas Grice Walker, William Thomas Ellis Curzon and Jack Cauldwell; they had consecutive service numbers.

Crich recruits in 1914

Ian P. Macdonald; William Burr; William Curzon; John Walker; Nelson Martin;
Jack Kneebone; William Frost; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Cauldwell;
Jack Porter; George Perry; Noble Tomlinson

Crich recruits 1914

Included with these recruits are: Ian Macdonald; Billy Curzon; Jack Porter; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Kneebone; Billy Burr; Noble Tomlinson;
Tom Coleman; Billy Frost; Luke Coleman; Jack Cauldwell; George Perry.
It is believed that John Roe, brothers Herbert and Steven Bollington (and possibly John) are also amongst this group.

Newspaper reports

Derbyshire Courier, 31 August 1915
Crich Lance Corporal wounded
Lance Corporal William Harrison of Crich, attached to the 2nd Notts and Derbyshire Regiment, in writing home during the past few days tell of his getting wounded in action.
He is now at the Heaton Mersey Auxiliary Hospital (formerly a Wesleyan School) and he writes: "I am feeling very sore after my experiences in the last big battle. The sights of the war get worse, and to see the dead and dying is awful. The battle started about 2.45 on Monday, and the noise of hundreds of guns was absolutely deafening. Our order to advance was smartly obeyed, but we had great difficulty in getting along every yard or so we went some of our chaps were knocked down. Thousands of shells were dropping around, but it didn't matter we kept on and gained for our commander what he wanted. Then I was struck by pieces of shell one in the arm two in the side and again in the abdomen. But I am feeling a bit better now, and we are being very well looked after in hospital. Just as we were going into action I saw Sam Briddon, Jack Clark, Walter Mellors and others shouted to us and wished us luck."
Lance Corporal Harrison came across with 200 other wounded soldiers in the – and was sent to Ducie Avenue Hospital, Manchester afterwards he moved to Heaton Mersey. His brother Private E Harrison of the East Surrey Light Infantry was expected to start for the Dardanelles on Tuesday.

Derbyshire Courier, 2 October 1915
Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Mellors, of Royal Oak Cottages, Crich, had a field postcard on Saturday from their son, Pte John Mellors, of the King's Own Torkshire Light Infantry, informing them that he was in hospital France, the result of having been wounded. Further details came to hand on Tuesday in a letter sent from the hospital by a comrade of Private Mellors. This states : "I am writing to you on behalf of your son, who is wounded in the arm with a shrapnel bullet. The wound in not serious and he hopes to be home with ou soon, so don't worry. He is in a very good hospital and well looked after by nurese and attandants. (Signed) Pye. Hindley." Pte. Mellors has been at the front about six months. He was employed at Doncaster as a draper's traveller when war broke out and early on he joined the colours.Mr. and Mrs. Mellors have also received during the week a letter from their younger son, Pte. Walter Mellors, of the 5th Sherwood Foresters. This informed them that he was going up into line again. Pte. Mellors, who has been in hospital for three months, is a typical son of Anak, being 6ft. 3ins. in height and only attained his tentieth year on Sunday.

Note: The sons of Anak are first mentioned in Numbers 13. The Israelite leader Moses sends twelve spies representing the twelve tribes of Israel to scout out the land of Canaan, and give a full report to the congregation. The spies enter from the Negev desert and journey northward through the Judaean hills until they arrive at the brook of Eshcol near Hebron, where reside Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the sons of Anak. After the scouts have explored the entire land, they bring back samples of the fruit of the land; most notably a gigantic cluster of grapes which requires two men to carry it on a pole between them. The scouts then report to Moses and the congregation, that "the land indeed is a land flowing with milk and honey," but ten of the twelve spies discourage the Israelites from even attempting to possess the land, for they reported that the men were taller and stronger than the Israelites, and moreover the sons of Anak dwell in the land, and that they felt like grasshoppers in their presence. (source Wikipedia)

Derbyshire Courier, 22 August 1916

Newspaper photo of Walter Mellors

Lce.-Corpl. W. MELLORS, Crich (Prisoner of War)

Derbyshire Times, 2 June 1917
Mr and Mrs James Mellors of Crich have received news of the death of their second son, Pte John Mellors, of the King’s Yorkshire Light Infantry, who was killed in action on the 3rd of May. He was wounded 13 months ago in France, and had seen much fighting. He had enlisted at the beginning of the War, while at Doncaster. He was 25 years of age and married. The deceased’s brother Cprl. Walter Mellors, of The Sherwoods, who enlisted at the same time is now a prisoner of war in Germany.

Derbyshire Courier, 25th of May 1918
Lance Corporal Walter Mellors of Crich Common, who was taken prisoner nearly two years ago has sent home to his parents a photograph of himself taken recently. Judging by the picture he appears to have fared pretty well for food. He was captured on 1 July 1916, the same day that Lance Corporal Luke Coleman fell in action and Private John Clarke was taken prisoner

Derbyshire Courier, 1 April 1919
Amongst the prisoners of war home from Germany no fewer than four reached Crich during the past few days. These are Sgt Norman Smith, Roes Lane; Lance Cpl Walter Mellors, the Common; Private Abe Lichfield, Fritchley; and Private A Donaldson, the Reservoir, Chadwick Nick,. Sgt Smith was captured in April near Albert, and after six weeks work behind the lines he was moved to the N.C.O.’s camp, Parchim. Mechlinberg. The journey made in cattle trucks, with 40 in a truck, took three days, and during this time they had neither food nor water. Lance Corporal Mellors was taken prisoner on 1 July 1916, and was moved to Soltau Hanover, where he has been on farm work. His principal diet, he says, has been black bread, potatoes and water. The locality from he came was in a fearful condition from shortages of food and large numbers had died. Lance Corporal Mellors joined the first Sherwood with the first lot of Crich lads in September 1914. Along with him on Monday came Private A Lichfield, who has been a prisoner for four years and two months. They been in Germany together for a month, and came from Hanburg as companions. Sad circumstances attend the homecoming of Private Donaldson, whose wife was buried about three weeks ago.

Prisoner of War Record
Mellors Walter, corporal, 5th Sherwood Foresters, 2771, France, Gommecourt, 1/7/16, Wounded right wrist and right buttock, (hand grenade); Crich, 26/12/95, Mr Mellors, Crich, Nr Matlock Bath, Derbyshire

Sherwood Foresters Archive
Served with "D" Coy – Reported in Red Cross Enquiry List 1st September 1916 as missing 1.7.1916. Possibly taken prisoner 1.7.1916 during the attack on Gommecourt.

Medal Roll Index Card
He was awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star Medals
He entered France 25/06/15 and disembodied 07/05/19

Walter's brother John Mellors (Mellows) is also on the Roll of Honour


1901: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Information Where born
James Mellors Head 44 Limestone quarryman Crich
Maria Mellors wife 41   Crich
Rebecca Mellors daughter 17 Factory hand Hosiery Crich
Florence M Mellors daughter 17 Factory hand Hosiery Crich
Ada Mellors daughter 16 Factory hand Hosiery Crich
Fanny Mellors daughter 14 Factory hand Hosiery Crich
Thomas Mellors son 12   Crich
Walter Mellors son 5   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 65 page 15

1911: Crich Common

Forename Surname Relationship Age Information Where born
James Mellors Head 53 General labourer Crich
Maria Mellors wife 51   Crich
Fanny Mellors daughter 24 Cotton spinner Crich
Walter Mellors son 15 Delver in stone quarry Crich

RG14PN20984 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED13 SN112

1918 Crich voters
Walter Mellors, Crich Common; absent on military service.

1939 Register: 3 New Road, Crich
Walter Mellows b.26 September 1895; butchers vanman
Eva M Mellows b.31 December 1899
two closed records
[Note Mellors was sometimes recorded as Mellows]