Noel Mellish

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Noel Mellish
VCEdwardNoelMellish.jpg
Born 24 December 1880
Barnet, London
Died 8 July 1962 (aged 81)
South Petherton, Somerset
Buried at Weymouth Crematorium
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1915–1919
Rank Chaplain
Unit Royal Army Chaplains' Department
Battles/wars Second Boer War
World War I
Awards Victoria Cross
Military Cross
Other work Anglican priest
The memorial plaque to Noel Mellish in Oakleigh Park, London.
The plaque and associated bench with wreaths, April 2016.
St Mary the Virgin Church, Great Dunmow.

Edward Noel Mellish VC MC (24 December 1880 – 8 July 1962) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Background[edit]

Edward Noel Mellish was born on 24 December 1880 at Oakleigh Park, Barnet, North London. He was the son of Edward and Mary Mellish. He went on to be educated at Saffron Walden Grammar School and from there became a member of the Artists Rifles. In 1900 he began serving with Baden-Powell's police against the Boers in South Africa.

World War I[edit]

On the outbreak of the First World War Mellish was assistant curate at St Paul's, Deptford. He offered his services to the chaplaincy and served from May 1915 until February 1919. Just a few months after this his brother Second Lieutenant Richard Coppin Mellish was killed in action whilst serving with the 1st Middlesex Regiment at the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915. Reverend Mellish was attached to the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in Ypres Salient in 1916 and it was then during the first three days of the Action of the St Eloi Craters that he performed the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was the first member of the army chaplaincy to win the VC in the First World War.[1]

Victoria Cross[edit]

He was 35 years old, and a Chaplain in the Army Chaplains' Department, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On three consecutive days, the 27 to 29 March 1916, during the heavy fighting at St. Eloi, Belgium, he went to-and fro continuously between the original trenches and the captured enemy trenches, attending to and rescuing wounded men. The first day, from an area swept by machine-gun fire, he rescued 10 severely wounded men. Although his battalion was relieved on the second day, he returned and rescued 12 more of the wounded. Taking charge of a group of volunteers, on the third day, he again returned to the trenches in order to rescue the remaining wounded. This excellent work was done voluntarily and was far outside the sphere of his normal duties[2]

St. Eloi is located approximately three kilometers east of Ypres, Belgium. The defense of St. Eloi is commemorated by the Hill 62 Memorial.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Fusiliers Museum in the Tower of London, England. Replica medals are on display at the Museum of Army Chaplaincy.

After the war[edit]

He was vicar of St. Marys Church, Great Dunmow in Essex from 1928 to 1948 and then was licensed as the Perpetual curate of the Church of St Dunstan, Baltonsborough in Somerset.[3]

Memorial[edit]

Mellish was born at Trenabie House, in Oakleigh Park North, in 1880. The house no longer exists but in March 2016 a plaque was installed nearby in a ceremony attended by Mellish's daughter Claire.[4]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ W Avis, The Rev E. N. Mellish Walking Across Ground, Which Was Being Swept By Machine Gun Fire, To Tend The Wounded, 1920
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29555. p. 4119. 18 April 1916. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Licence of the Rev. Edward Noel Mellish VC. to Perpetual Curacy of Baltonsborough.". National Archives. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Victoria Cross recipient honoured. Nick Griffin, London Borough of Barnet, 24 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
Sources

External links[edit]