The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War

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Those Who Served


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Pte. John Meeke .     British Army Irish Brigade   from Derrykeighan

At the Battle of Messines in June 1917, John Meeke was a stretcher bearer with the Irish Brigade was on the left of the Ulster Division. During the attack the intensity of the British shelling meant that it was impossible to see more than a few yards. In the confusion, Private Meeke saw that Major Willie Redmond of the Irish Brigade was wounded. Willie Redmond was a politician with strong Irish Republican views, Meeke was a member of the original Ulster Volunteer Force, at home in Ireland this would probably have left them less than friends. However, on the battlefield loyalties were different. Using the shell craters as shelter, John Meeke ran across the battlefield towards the injured officer. As he treated Major Redmond, Private Meeke was also wounded by shrapnel, but he carried on, making sure the Major was taken back to the dressing station. Disobeying orders, Meeke then continued tending to the other wounded until he was forced to stop and go to the dressing station himself. Major Redmond died of his wounds, but John Meeke survived the war, although he died quite young in December 1923, aged 28.

Pte. Samuel Meeke .     British Army 2nd Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers   from Dervock

(d.19th Jan 1919)

Samuel Meeke was captured on the 21st of March 1918 and sent to the Langensalza pow camp where he was forced to work in the sulphur mines. On his release after the Armistice, his health was so affected that he died a fortnight after arriving home. He is buried in Derrykeighan Old Graveyard. Samuel also had a brother, John, who was awarded the Military Medal.

Pte. Bernard Meeson .     British Army 7th Service Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment   from Cannock, Staffordshire

(d.9th Dec 1917)

Bernard was born in Penkridge, Staffordshire. While he was known as Bernard Meeson, he was registered as Bernard Lowe. After his mother married Richard Wincer he was sometimes known as Bernard Wincer.

When war broke out in Europe he was living in Cannock. He signed up at Hednesford Drill Hall in 1914. He had 2 daughters Doris and Eliza with Isabella Mary Gripton whom he married in 1911. Eliza was killed while carrying milk back from the shop across the road. She stepped out in front of a bus and was dragged into the wheels and died instantly aged 7. His wife Isabella later married a local widow John W Amos.

Doris, my nan, had only vague memories of him going away. She died recently and with the exception of this photo I found two years ago, on a grainy fiche copy of the Cannock Advertiser, she had no pictures of her father Bernard.

Dvr. E. D. Mehegan .     Australian Imperial Force. 3rd Salvage Coy.

Pte. John Meiklejohn .     British Army 1/4 Battalion, B Company, No7 Platoon Royal Scots Fusiliers ?    from Darval, Ayeshire

John Meiklejohn, 1/4 Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, was my grandfather. He was wounded at Gallipoli and again in Palistine and survied the War and went on to be a police officer. Does anyone recognise any of their family on this picture if so who are they and what happend to them?

Lt. Guiseppe "Joseph" Melandri MBE.     Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve   from Penarth

My Grand Father, Guiseppe Melandri, also known as Joseph Melandre, served as a Lieutenant in the RNVR during the First World War. His eldest two sons also served, both in the 11 Bn Welsh Regiment, although my father was only 12 when that war broke out.

Guiseppe was honoured with an MBE shortly after the war when he was tasked with getting the coal shipping industry back into production. Before the war he owned several coal ships but at war's end he was left with nothing. He worked hard to get coal production and the delivery of coal back to normal and he suffered a stroke which left him severely paralysed. For such a dynamic and forceful man this was devastating and he never recovered. He is fondly remembered as a strong family personality who loved his family and respected as a leader by the families of those who worked with him.

Cpl. Leonard Melandri .     British Army 11 Battalion, B Coy, 5 Pl. Welsh Regiment   from Penarth

Uncle Leonard enlisted with his brother Vincent. They served in Greece, France and Belgium. Leonard was severely wounded in the leg and received a disability pension after the war. I remember that he said his wound was packed with sulphur and strapped up so he could still keep fighting. He was unable to bend his leg for as long as we knew him. He married Clarice after the war but they were never able to have any children perhaps that is why they spoiled my brother and I as children.

Pte. Vincent Melandri .     British Army 11th Battalion, B Coy, 5 Pl. Welsh Regiment   from Penarth

My Uncle Vincent Melandri enlisted with his brother Leonard. Although wounded in the head Vincent stayed with his unit as long as he could. He served the entire War being demobbed in 1919. He worked as an electrical linesman after the war and sadly he never married and kept to himself. He visited us in London on at least three occasions and was a lovely man.

Pte. Patrick Mellon .     British Army 2nd Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers   from Limonds Wynd, Ayr

(d.13th March 1915)

Patrick Mellon was my Great Uncle. I have no specific information except that my Mother always kept an 'In Memoriam' card in his memory. He was 36 years old when he was killed at Neuve Chapelle. He lived in Limonds Wynd, Ayr

L/Cpl. Alexander Melville .     British Army 1st Battalion Royal Scots   from Alyth, Perthshire

(d.27th Mar 1915)

Alexander Melville was born in Alyth, Perthshire. He died of Wounds and is buried in Aldershot Military Cemetery.

The Glasgow Herald reported on the 30th of March 1915: "Mr Andrew Melville, Bank Street, Alyth, received word yesterday from a Red Cross hospital that his son Alexander had died on Saturday. Alexander Melville was a member of the Royal Scots and came with the Indian contingent for the war. He visited his parents at the beginning of the year."

L/Cpl. James Melville .     British Army 2nd Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers   from Jarrow, Co Durham

(d.8th May 1915)

Walter Melvin .     British Army 21st Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers

Pte. David Menarry .     British Army 9th Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (d.1st Jul 1916)

Sgt. Maurice "Tony" Mendes .     British Army 1/9th Btn. Middlesex Regiment   from London

My father Maurice Mendes enlisted with the 1/9th Btn Middlesex Regt in August 1914 at Willesden, London. He sailed with the Btn for India in October 1914 on board the SS Dilwara arriving in October 1914. He was promoted to the rank of Sgt before taking a commission in the 1st Bn 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry where he served on the North West Frontier, returning to civilian life in late 1919 or early 1920.

He took a large number of photographs during his time with both the 1/9th Btn and later with the 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry. This photo album recently turned up, after many years when it was believed to have been irretrievably lost. I had the 65 pages (containing approx 250 images )professionally digitally photographed and am currently cooperating with a website owner in having selected photos put up on his website. where some of these photos have already been put up on this website. It is a project in process and will be developed in due time.

I would be interested in having these images seen by all who may have an interest in the British Military during that period and perhaps collect material related to photos taken by my father, almost 100 years ago.

Pte. George Mercer MID.     British Army 5th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps   from Sydenham, Kent

George Mercer was a great uncle of mine on my father's mother's side. I know he was attached to the Royal West Kent Regiment but not exactly sure when yet. He went across to France on or about the 18th August 1914 with the 5th Field Ambulance and remained with them until until 1917 (date to be confirmed). He had enlisted in 1907, went onto the reserve list when he joined the Merchant Navy in 1910. He was recalled in August 1914 and survived the carnage and went back to the Merchant Navy immediately after the war. He stayed with the Merchant Navy until the 2nd World War began when he left within weeks of it starting I am still trying establish where he served in WW2. I have a few naval leads which I am currently following up at the moment. I am intending to take a look at the 5th Field Ambulance Unit diaries hoping there might be some mention of his actions which earns him the MID in 1914/15.

Frank Meredith .     British Army Flintshire and Denbighshire Yeomanry   from Mold

My Grandfather, Frank Meredith, was a member of the Denbighshire Yeomanary. He fought in Egypt in about 1916/17, not too sure as my Dad was only 12 when his Dad died, he just remembers the two horses frank's father bought him as my father has followed in his footsteps with the equine interest,as i have. We do have pics of Frank in uniform, and have a curb chain off the bridle,and only one spur off his boots!

Gnr. John Raymond "Jack" Meredith .     British Army Royal Garrison Artillery   from Enfield, Middlesex, London

My Grandfather John Meredith was a Gunner in France during WW1 and may have been in Ypres and The Somme. We are still researching this but Grandad lived in Enfield and survived the War

Mjr. Adolar Merkatz .     German Army 6/Fus.Regiment 35 (d.6th Aug 1914)

Gnr. Arthur Merridan .     British Army 110 Bde. D Bty. Royal Field Artillery   from Woolwich

(d.20th April 1918)

Arthur Merridan was born in Woolwich in 1890. In 1914 he married Minnie Page and they had a son also named Arthur was born in 1916. He was killed in 1918 and is buried in Godewaersvelde British Cemetery.

Pte William Merrifleld VC MM.     Canadian Expeditionary Force 4th (Central Ontario) Battalion   from Canada

L/Cpl. Edward George Merrilees .     British Army 1st Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.14th Sep 1916)

L/Cpl Edward George Merrilees of the 1st Btn Grenadier Guards was born 18 July 1893 Died 14 September 1916 aged 23 he was killed in action on The Somme, France and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial

Pte. William John Edward Merryweather .     British Army 21st (Res) London Regiment   from 105 Edith Grove, Chelsea, London

(d.11th Dec 1918)

Pioneer George Joseph "Joseph" Messenger .     British Army 7 Labour Battalion   from Plaistow London

George Joseph Messenger was my great grandfather. He enlisted on 8th September 1915 and gave his age as 46. Later in his war papers he also gave his wife's name as Kate New and date of marriage as 16/07/1876. I have a copy of his marriage certificate which confirms this. I also have a copy of his birth certificate showing he was born on 24/12/1852 Therefore he must have been at least 62 years of age at enlistment and "pulled the wool" over the enlisting officers eyes. He embarked to France on 17th September 1915 and was returned home on 24/04/1916. He was discharged 02/06/1916 as no longer fit for active service - hardly surprising given his age. He was awarded 1914 -15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal

Pte. Herbert Messenger .     Army West Yorkshire Regiment

Herbert served with the West Yorkshire Regiment, The Royal Engineers, The Labour Corps and the Scottish Rifles.

Pte. Leslie John Metcalf .     Australian Imperial Force. 40th Btn.   from 14 Mile Emu Bay Railway, Burnie, Tasmania

(d.7th Jun 1917)

Leslie Metcalf was the fourth child born to Edward Joseph John Metcalf and Caroline Selina Watts, he had four siblings; three sisters and a brother. He was born in 1894. He was killed at the Battle of Messines on the 7th of June 1917, he has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Gnr. Thomas Metcalf .     British Army 118 Seige Battery Royal Garrison Artillery   from Central Parade, Shildon, Co. Durham.

(d.25th Oct 1917)

Thomas Metcalf was killed aged 19 during the battle of Passchendaele. The Battery War Diary for the day records: "The guns in action registered visually on their new lines and some 200 rounds were fired in the course of the day and night on counter battery work. Two telephonists, Gunners Dunkley and Metcalf were killed when going forward for the pending attacks with Forward Observation Officer Lieut Gough."

He has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. His parents were Alfred and Mary Ann Metcalfe.

Cpl. William Henry Metcalf VC, MM..     Canadian Expeditionary Force 16th (Canadian Scottish) Btn.

2nd Cpl. Metcalfe .     Canadian Army 1st Canadian Tunnelling Coy.

L/Cpl. A. Metcalfe .     Army 18th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Pte. Digby Metcalfe .     British Army 2/20th Btn. London Regiment   from York

(d.31st Aug 1918)

Digby joined the RWK and in 1918 he was posted to the London Regiment. He died on or near Bailleulval, France.

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