Born: 1880
Died: 12 February 1915
Buried: No known grave
Address: 43 Cowing Road, Windhill
Parents: William and Johanna
Spouse: Ethel
Occupation: Mason’s labourer (1911)
Rank: Cpl
Rolls of Honour: Christchurch, Windhill; Le Touret Memorial
Children: Alice and Hetty
Regiment: King’s Royal Rifles
Edwin Mellow
Edwin was born in Idle in 1880. He was the youngest child of a Cornish coalminer William and his wife Johanna. The birthplaces of the couple’s children showed they had moved from Cornwall to Cumbria, to South Wales, Burnley around 1875 then to Halifax and Keighley before arriving in Idle just before Edwin’s birth. At some stage they moved to 5 Russell Street, Windhill. Edwin married Ethel in 1906 and by 1911 census they were living at 32 Cowling Road, Windhill. They had two daughters - Alice aged 5, and Hetty 10 months. A third child had died. On 26 February, 1915, the following report appeared in the Shipley Times 7 Express: ‘Cpl Edwin Mellow of the 2nd Battalion King’s Royal Rifles,
whose home was at 43 Cowling Road, Windhill, has been killed in action. ‘The official intimation from the War Office, received by Mrs Mellow on Monday morning, stated that her husband was fatally injured during an engagement in France on February 12th ‘Deceased, who was the youngest son of the late Mr Wm Mellow of 5 Russell Street, Windhill, went through the South African War unscratched. He was the proud possessor of medals which he received for taking part in that campaign. ‘Cpl Mellow, who leaves a widow and two young children, has a large number of relatives serving in the war.’
The following week, the newspaper carried a report of the memorial service: ‘A memorial service was held at the Parish Church on Sunday morning for Cpl Edwin Mellow who was killed in action at the front. ‘There was a large congregation which included the relatives and many friends of the deceased. Suitable hymns were sung and the service throughout was of a most impressive nature. ‘The soldiers billeted at Dumb Mills were to have been present but they were prevented from attending owing to the fact that on the following morning they had to leave to take up other quarters.
‘The Vicar, the Rev R Whincup, in the course of his sermon said that Cpl Mellow had laid down his life for his fellow men and for that reason they owed him a deep debt of gratitude. ‘It was well that in matters of that kind sympathy should take a practical line. All that the country could do was to offer a small pension to widows and orphans of the men who fell in endeavouring to uphold the honour of their country. ‘But after all, whatever money might be received would not compensate for the loss of a loving husband or an affectionate father. ‘The late Cpl Mellow had been a brave man and had been most anxious to do his duty and in doing so he had made himself a fine example to others. ‘Continuing, the Vicar said he rejoiced that in their sorrow the relatives of the fallen hero had turned to Christ for sympathy. In these critical times it was a great triumph for the Christian Church when people in moments of distress did not turn to atheism, agnosticism and materialism but showed their faith in the Christian religion. ‘Such theories as he had named were poor friends when a man was on his back but the teachings of Christ were of the greatest comfort to humanity in all the vicissitudes through which it had to pass.’
Publishing Edwin Mellow’s details as one of the soldiers commemorated on the Christchurch Roll of Honour is somewhat problematic and subject to an embarrassed change at some time in the future. On the memorial we find Edward Mellor. Yet there is no Edward Mellor on the 1911 census or in any of the reports. Edwin Mellow does not appear on the board, yet he has strong Windhill connections and was given a memorial service in Christchurch. And someone matching his profile but named Edward Mellow appears on the Commonwealth Graves website. It would seem that there might have been a mistaken reading of Edw Mellow as Edward Mellor but if that turns out to be wrong, we shall of course correct it.
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