The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War

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Those Who Served


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Pte. Herbert McWilliams .     British Army 8th Btn. (East Belfast) Royal Irish Rifles   from 9 Abington Street, Belfast

(d.10th Feb 1916)

Pte Herbert McWilliams was a friend of my grandmother, May Connellan. He sent her an embroidered postcard on 27 December 1915, wishing her "A Bright New Year, with Kind Regards". I do not know if there was a deeper sentiment behind the words of the card, but my grandmother kept it until her own death in 1984, so perhaps there was.

Sadly, Pte McWilliams was killed in action on 10 Feb 1916, just a few short weeks after sending the card, and only 3 days after his battalion moved to the front line from the River Ancre to the Mailly-Maillett-Serre road.

Sjt. W. E. Mearis .     Army 2/8th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Cpl. Frank Measey .     British Army 7th Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (d.22nd June 1918)

My great uncle, Frank Measey, was born in Oakley, Buckinghamshire on the 8th January 1895, to Joseph Measey and his wife Martha Elizabeth Gladdy who were farmers and publicans. The Measey family lived at The Royal Oak in Oakley.

Frank and his brother George joined the Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Light Infantry during the 1st World War as did their brothers Charles and Thomas, who later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. All four brothers are recorded on the war memorial at Oakley.

Frank was killed in action on the 22nd June 1918 whilst fighting in Salonika. He is buried at the Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece. My great uncle's medals, death plaques, letters and prayer books were passed onto me by my grandmother and will be passed on through our family. She was Mary Ann Govier [nee Measey) the sister of Frank, George, Charles and Thomas. She was married to Henry Govier of Oakley.

Some years ago I was at the rememberance service at Oakley church and spoke to the congregation about my great uncles. Although I never met them, I have researched their stories and am proud of their sacrifice, but sad that I never had the opportunity to meet them. Not many families lost four soldiers during the 1st World War and it is a fitting tribute to remember them.

Pte. George Measey .     British Army 2/4th Battalion Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry (d.5th Oct 1918)

My great uncle, George Measey, was born at Oakley, Buckinghamshire on the 21st December 1888, to Joseph Measey and Martha Elizabeth Gladdy who were landlords of the Royal Oak, Oakley and farmers.

George fought in France and Flanders with the Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry 2/4th Battalion. He was taken prisoner of war and sent to Switzerland to recover from illness, but died on the 5th October 1918 aged 29.

His funeral procession

George was buried at Vevet St Martins, Lake Geneva, Switzerland. He along with his brothers, Frank, Thomas and Charles are recorded on the war memorial at Oakley.

I was given his medals and photo by my grandmother Mary Anne Govier [nee Measey] who was married to Henry Govier of Oakley. Although I never had the opportunity to meet with him he is remembered in our family along with his brothers who never came back to live with their family in Oakley.

Pte. Thomas Measey .     British Army 101st Coy Machine Gun Corps   from Oakley Buckinghamshire

(d.20th Jan 1917)

Thomas Measey was the son of Joseph Measey and Martha Gladdy, who resided at Oakley in Buckinghamshie. Joseph was a shopkeeper and landlord of The Royal Oak, Oakley which had been run by the Gladdy family. I believe that he was originally in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and joined up with his brothers Charles,Frank and George.

The Measey boys worked on local farms in Oakey and bred horses at The Royal Oak, Oakley. Thomas later joined the Machine Gun Corps with his brother Charles Henry. The Measey boys were all given a prayer book by the Vicar of Oakley before going to their regiments. Thomas was the first of the Measey boys to be killed in action, he died on the 20th January 1917 aged 33. Thomas is buried at the Cite Bonjean Military Cementary at Armentieres His name can be found on the war memorial and roll of honour at Oakley church and a photo of him is posted on the Buckinghamshire Remembers website.

My grandmother Mary Anne Govier [nee Measey] was the sister of Thomas and was deeply affected by her brother's loss. Mary Anne Measey was married to Henry Govier of Oakley and the Govier family lived in a large timber framed farmhouse on the Worminghall Road. In the kitchen over the mantleplace to the fire were the three death plaques of Thomas, Charles Henry and Frank although four of my great uncles had died in the 1st World War. George was not issued with a death plaque as he had died of his injuries in Switzerland. The medals, prayer books and photos of my four great uncles were given to me by my grandmother and will be passed down through my family.

There were no Measey boys from my great grandparents Joseph and Martha had no male children, but the Measey name survives in Buckinghamshire through Joseph's brothers. Some years ago I spoke about my great uncles at Oakley church on Armistice Day. Although I was not lucky enough to meet them they are still remembered in my family and I tried to find out as much as possible about them.

Gnr. John Hudson Medcalf .     British Army 251st Brigade, D Battery Royal Field Artillery   from Carlin How

(d.5th Nov 1918)

My Great Great Uncle, John Medcalf was a prisoner of war and died 6 days before the end of the War. He is buried in the Berlin South Western Cemetery.

L/Cpl. Harry Mee .     British Army 15th Battalion Notts & Derby Regiment   from Luton, Bedfordshire

(d.11th Nov 1917)

Harry Mee was born in Walsall, West Midlands in 1889, the son of Mary Ann & John Mee. Before the War he was a coal miner. He enlisted at Clay Cross on 23rd October 1914 and joined the 1/6th Battalion - Chatsworth Rifles and soon arrived in France. In June 1916 Harry was transferred to the 15th Battalion of the Notts & Derby Regiment (Sherwood Foresters). Then in July 1916 Harry was sent to the 2nd Western Hospital in Manchester to recover from a bullet wound to his left shoulder. His parents had separated by this time and his Mother had married a John Davies and was living in Audenshaw, so I expect she took the chance to see her son.

On the 27th July 1917 Harry married Alice Theodorsen at Luton Church of the Saviour, then went straight back to the Front in France. How he met Alice is not known. Alice became pregnant with her first child, a child that Harry would never see as unfortunately he was killed in action on the 11th November 1917 and is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery in France. He was 27.

Spr. William Walter Meehan .     Australian Imperial Forces 1st Australian Tunnelling Coy.   from Inkerman, Nth Queensland

Cpl. Francis Reginald Meek .     British Army. 171st Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers   from Blackwood, Wales

(d.17th Jun 1917)

Francis Meek is my gg Uncle, son of Beriah and Tryphena Meek originaly from Dyrbrook in the Forest of Dean where they all worked as miners. He is brother to my Great Grandfather Charles Henry James Meek who is remembered at the Ploegsteert Memorial. We visited them both to pay our respects 13/02/13.

3rdEngr. James Meek .     Mercantile Marine SS Kwasind (d.11th Mar 1917)

James Meek, 3rd Engineering Officer was serving on board the SS Kwasind and died age 25 when the vessel was sunk on the 11th March 1917. He is remembered at Jarrow Library and the Tower Hill Memorial. James was born in Jarrow in 1891, son of William and Joan Meek nee Halliday of 28 Thornton Avenue, South Shields.

Robert Edward Meek .     Army Durham Light Infantry

I am trying to trace my family tree. I was informed by my father that his father, Robert Edward Meek was in the DLI in the Great War. I have tried to find out to no luck. can anyone help me? I have no other information about him not even his service number. It seems a complete mystery. I believe he was born in Middlesbrough and lived in the South moor, Stanley area.

William Robert Meek .     British Army Durham Light Infantry   from Newburn, Northumberland

William Robert Meek was born in 1896. He went to war and it took him 3 tries to get in, twice his Dad went and got him out, the 3rd time his Dad said let him go. He became a prisoner of war, and he had been wounded. When I asked where he had been wounded his reply was, in the bottom. I asked, how was he wounded in that area, his reply was, like all the others I were running away.

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)

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