Those Who Served

Memorials have been erected to honour those soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country. They are etched in stone and very little information is added about them other than they died. Not only am I more interested in their stories, but also those who sacrificed in other ways -- they came home a different person, emotionally and physically, some remained home and worked in hospitals or industries that manufactured war goods. Others objected to war of any kind, but found ways to show their partiotism in other ways.   

This information is based on cross-referencing data with censuses, newspaper articles and other documents that more accurately detail information at the time. This includes, for instance, completion of names that may otherwise have been identified with only first initals and surnames. Because of the vagueness, and sometimes misspellings, incorrect matchings may have occurred.

There is another problem: many service records have been destroyed. Many are no longer legible. Some contain misinformation, such as ages given if they might have been too young to have been legally accepted.

Making discovery even more difficult, just because something is etched in stone or beautifuuly calligraphied or printed in the newspaper does not mean it's accurate. The rule of thumb is to verify information with three reliable and agreeing sources. Unfortunately, given the number of lost documeents and human error, it's not been easy.

PLEASE NOTE: With your help, we can correct mistakes or add service of those who are not listed. Everyone should be honoured, not just those who died. If you spot anything that needs to be corrected or know of persons to be added, please email and let us know.

Those Who
  POSTED 6 November 2023 - .pdf download is 5.5 MB and contains 93 pages covering WWI; (some service in Boer and WWII are included) — a list of 1,527 people
Those Who
Served by name
  Same list as above but names are in alphabetical order and include parents and spouses.

This is a list of people who played a role during WWI, and had direct association with Melksham and Melksham Without. There are also some who served in the Boer War and WWII, but these have, so far, been less researched. You will also note quite a few employees of Avon Idia Rubber Compaany are listed, but very few of other manufacturers. This is because of records I have had access to confirming service and or employment during WWI.  

(for Melksham and Melksham without only) any one of the following:

  • Born or baptised/christened in Melksham
  • Employed in Melksham
  • Married in Melksham
  • Had a Melksham address
  • Died in Melksham
  • Buried in Melksham
  • What is not on the list are those who are on the Melksham War Memorial but do not have a direct Melksham connection. Often relatives will list their fallen loved ones on a nearby memorial if their town or village does not have a war memorial.   

    It was common for soldiers to serve in more than one regiment. This list endeavours to show their most recent service, but it is not always clear which that is.   

    Because service records had been destroyed or damaged or faded with time, this is not a comprehensive list and is always being updated.   

    Any additions and changes are gratefully received.   

    NOTE: These are ordered by Regiment/affiliation firstly, then by location within Melksham. (A blank line indicates ‘unknown’.)   

    Several employers and family members went on behalf of those who were called up, attending tribunals to explain why their particular service is more required at home, rather than to be sent to conflict. Some were exempted, but others were not. Those allowed a temporary exemption may have ended up serving, but some remain unknown.

    The Army Service Corps received the Royal prefix in late 1918. Regiments ASC in this list are all noted as "Royal Army Service Corps" for commonality, even though a soldier's service may have ended before 1919.

    Conditions at end of service referring to the below are for various reasons:

  • “Wounded” — gunshot wound, stabbing, etc., anything causing physical harm
  • “Diseased” — ranging from something caught, such as trench foot, influenza or malaria, or something which occurred naturally, such as heart disease or rheumatism
  • “Stress/Shock” — mental issues, such as shell shock or stress

  • “POW” - Prisoner of War