Cpl 15/1188, West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 15th Battalion, The Leeds Pals.

December 1895: Joseph Cecil Mellor was born in Armley to Joseph Mellor and Esther Buck. His parents had married in December of 1894 in Bradford. Two other children made up their family; Winifred who was born in 1899 and Frank who was born in 1910. (Source: 1911 Census)

In 1901, the family were listed as living at 62 Armley Lodge Road. but ten years later they moved to 8 Knowle Terrace, Burley Hill in Leeds. They remained there throughout the war. Before the war, Joseph worked as a clerk for Smith and Wale, a paper merchant company based in Leeds. (Source: 1911 Census and Descriptive Report on Enlistment)

25th January 1915: Joseph attested at Colsterdale and he was certainly in good physical shape for the Army as he is recorded as being ‘5ft 7’, 10st and of good physical development.’ He was enrolled in the 15th Battalion, Leeds Pals and remained in England until the 6th December 1915. (Source: Descriptive Report on Enlistment and Medical History, Army Form B. 178.)

On this date, he and the rest of the pals sailed for Egypt. They arrived on the 22nd of December and remained there until the 1st March 1916. They sailed for France that day and landed on the 8th of March. Whilst in France, he presumably took part in the Battle of the Somme. (Source: Military History Sheet)

On the 18th November 1916, Joseph was promoted to Lance Corporal, but just over a month later on the 23rd of December, he was diagnosed with Myalgia (muscle pain) and then later with anaemia. (Source: Casualty Form – Active Service, Army Form B. 103.)

He was hospitalised at Rouen until 22nd January 1917 then he returned to Etaples. (Source: Casualty Form)

15th May 1917: Promoted to Corporal.

In April of 1918, he returned to hospital at Rouen before being shipped back to England on the 3rd of April with a sprained ankle, a fever and severe toothache. This led to his admission at the General Hospital in Nottingham and subsequently having a septic root removed. (Source: Casualty Form)

1st June 1918: Joseph was in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne where he failed to salute some officers in the street – a rather minor misdemeanour – but he was severely reprimanded for this. He was again reprimanded in November of 1918 for ‘neglect of duty while temporarily in charge of a hut.’

These appear to have been his only crimes during a fairly successful military career and their timing suggests that he may have become tired of the way of life he led whilst in the army and waiting for the war to end. However, he was still a little too early to be ‘demob happy.’

He was awarded the three medals – the 1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

6th March 1919: Joseph was finally discharged from the army.

1924: Joseph could possibly have married a Miss Eleanor Keep in Leeds.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

Please Note:

  • All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
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