George Mellor, Private 2100, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds 20th August 1915 at sea off Gallipoli, Turkey, aged 18
George Mellor was baptised on 8th August 1897 at St Philip’s Church, Chorley (Alderley), Cheshire, the son of Sarah Alice and Ernest William Mellor, a confectioner, of London Road, Alderley Edge. In 1901, 3 year old George was living in London Road, Alderley Edge, with his parents and siblings Ralph (5), Florence (2) and baby Winifred, just six months old.
By 1911 the family had moved to 67 Paradise Street, Macclesfield, and George’s father was a grocer. Winifred died in 1901 but another child, Ada, was born in Altrincham in 1904.
In 1913, 16 year old George, then a grocer’s assistant (most likely in his father’s shop), enrolled at Macclesfield Technical School to take classes in ‘intermediate bookkeeping’.
George and his brother Ralph both enlisted at Macclesfield during the first week of September 1914, joining the 7th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, and following a period of training in various locations in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. Having landed, they came under shell fire at about 8.30am and so moved north along the edge of the bay; they then received orders to attack in the direction of a dip in the hills behind Anafarta Saghir.
At 8am on 10th August the Battalion was ordered to attack Hill 70. This was unsuccessful and the Battalion suffered severe losses. A second unsuccesssful attack took place at 5pm.
The following day at 2.30pm the Brigade moved north, but the 7th Cheshires and 4th Welsh Regiments on the left were under attack so had to pull back. The 7th Cheshires remained in this position in trenches for several days.
It is not known when George was badly wounded, but he died of his wounds on the hospital ship HMHS Delta in the Mediterranean sea on 20th August 1915, aged 18 years. It is assumed that he was buried at sea, and his death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 17 September 1915:
LOCAL FAMILY BEREAVED: ONE SON KILLED AND ANOTHER WOUNDED – Yesterday official information reached Mr E W Mellor, 67 Paradise St, Macclesfield, that his son, Private George Mellor, had died of wounds sustained in the fighting at the Dardanelles. Private Mellor enlisted on the outbreak of war, along with his brother Ralph, who has been wounded. he was eighteen years of age, and before enlistment assisted his father in the grocery business. Deceased was a good swimmer and secured two prizes at the last gala held at the Corporation Baths. He was of a cheery disposition and his death will be regretted by a large circle of friends. Private Mellor was an old boy of Mill Street Higher Grade Wesleyan School, Macclesfield, as is his brother Ralph.
Private George Mellor has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 75 to 77 on the Helles Memorial in Turkey. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private George Mellor, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Brother of Ralph Mellor who served as Private 2097 Cheshire Regiment and was wounded at Gallipoli, but survived and later served as Private 250446 in the Labour Corps.