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  • Photo Source: The Old Boys of Nottingham High School Killed in the First World War. Unpublished. Courtesy of the school librarian.
Person Details
28 Aug 1896
Stapleford Nottinghamshire
He was the son of Henry and Grace Melville of 'Albert Villa' Stapleford and later 'Bleak House' Stapleford Nottinghamshire and the brother of Grace M Melville. His father was secretary of a local colliery company.
Stuart Melville played First XI football for Nottingham High School.
23 Jan 1916
19
292252 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Second Lieutenant Stuart Bowie Melville, 11th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action on 23rd January 1916. The unit history recorded the circumstances: “On January 23rd [1916] 2nd Lieut. S. B. Melville was killed while in charge of a working party in the Rue de Quesne Sector.” He was buried in Rue-Du-Bois military cemetery, Fleurbaix grave reference I D 30.
The 11th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) was raised at Derby in September 1914 as part of Kitchener's Third New Army and became part of 70th Brigade in 23rd Division. They undertook training in Derby the moved to Stanhope Lines at Aldershot in December 1914, then to Shorncliffe in February 1915 and in May they moved to Bordon. They proceeded to France landing at Boulogne on the 27th of August 1915. They transferred to with 70th Brigade to 8th Division on the 18th of October 1915, in an exchange with 24th Brigade allowing the inexperienced troops to learn from those who had battle experience, returning to their orginal divisions in June 1916. The 11th Sherwoods were one of the early Kitchener New Army battalions. They were part of 70th Infantry Brigade, the 23rd Division, though during the Somme they had been transferred as a brigade to 8th Division for a period. The 70th Brigade was formed in September 1914 and initially assembled on Frensham Common. It was a brigade of men from Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The 11th Sherwoods were originally formed on 17th September 1914 at Derby and were first commanded by a Colonel Hawkes (an old Indian Army officer) who supervised there training until June 1915 when he was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel H F Watson, CMG, DSO, who took the battalion to France. The battalion was recruited from the miners of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and some of the original officers came from theological college. It entrained for Farnham on 19th September and then marched the 4 miles to Frensham Camp. Initially, there were lots of problems for these new army battalions, including poor accommodation, scanty equipment etc. All bathing was initially done in Frensham Pond and “Lyons” did the catering. For many of the pitmen the rural setting and healthy fresh air was a nice change and had the effect of making the men healthier. The weather became worse by mid-October with heavy rain that turned the ground into a quagmire. The tents had no floor boards, so they must have been pretty unpleasant. Rheumatism and flu were a problem. The men’s spirits remained high, however, despite the fact that they had to remain in these conditions until the end of November. The initial training was supervised by an old “Forester” RSM. The men only got rifles in November. The men would go for a run or a march first thing, then later would perform squad and foot drill. Once rifles arrived first rudiments of handling arms were taught and exercises in musketry practised. On 2nd December the battalion moved to winter quarters at Aldershot were they shared cramped quarters with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI). More exercises were engaged in, particularly at platoon level where competitions were instituted. Increasingly long route marches with kit were undertaken and the whole brigade was inspected by Lord Kitchener in December in terrible weather. Many men had leave for Christmas 1914 and those that were left were treated to an excellent dinner in their barracks. Post the festive season the whole division moved in mid February to Folkstone, marching there over several days. They were billeted at Sandgate, which proved to be a good place but the companies were scattered. The battalion HQ was right on the front at Sandgate and divisional exercises were undertaken on the Downs. It is worth noting that Captain Leggett was in charge of ‘B’ Company during this period. He was a former teacher of the High School who had long supervised the School OTC and joined up on the outbreak of war. He is listed on the Roll of Honour and commemorated on the War memorial, though he died after the end of the war in 1920 and is not listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. An entry in the High School magazine for December 1915 indicates that he had a bad fall from his horse and sustained concussion of the brain and was thus disappointed again in going to the front. By this stage he had been promoted Major. He is certainly not on the list of officers who eventually go with the battalion to the front and his subsequent military career is, as yet, unknown. In May the battalion moved to Maidstone for two weeks where working parties were engaged in the digging of the outer defences of London, presumably in case of German invasion. In June they moved to Borden and rumours were rife about going to France. Here they practised more musketry and got their quota of machine guns. They were also inspected at Hankley Common by the King, along with the other battalions of their division on 18th August 1915. A lot of the time was spent in battalion sport, particularly football, and no. 1 platoon won both the battalion and brigade competition. By now the battalion had its new commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Watson, who arrived in June, and it was ordered to France on 20th August 1915 entraining at Liphook. In memoriam published 23rd January 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “MELVILLE. – In loving memory of Stuart Bowie Melville, Second-Lieut., Sherwood Foresters, killed in action January 23rd, 1916. – From father, mother, and sister.” Above in memoriam is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photo Source: The Old Boys of Nottingham High School Killed in the First World War. Unpublished. Courtesy of the school librarian.
    - Photo Source: The Old Boys of Nottingham High School Killed in the First World War. Unpublished. Courtesy of the school librarian.
  • Buried in Rue du Bois Military Cemetery.
    Stuart Bowie Melville - Buried in Rue du Bois Military Cemetery.