Abraham MELLOR
Rank: Bombardier
Number: 77216
Unit: 133rd Siege Battery ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 9 August 1917
Cemetery: Coxyde Military Cemetery, Koksijde, Belgium

Nothing is known of Abraham’s early life except that army records published after the War indicate he was born in Chinley. In 1894, the birth of a boy of this name was registered at nearby Chapel en le Frith and this may well have been him.

Abraham’s service number is low and probably dates his enlistment into the army to only a few days after War was declared on 4 August 1914. The Siege Batteries fired the heaviest weapons in the arsenal of the British army and were used to batter enemy defences from long-range. However, few records of their day-to-day activities now remain and it is not possible to know the exact circumstances in which Abraham was mortally wounded.

The small town of Koksijde, where Albraham is buried,  is situated on the Channel coast and was about ten kilometres behind the front line – an ideal location for the heavy artillery as it was out of range of German weaponry except, of course, for their own heavy guns. Some miles away, the Third Battle of Ypres had been underway since 31 July. Whilst the main concentration of fighting was around the town, units on either side of the battle kept up offensive work to pin down the Germans so reserves could not be sent to Ypres. Army records show that Abraham was not killed outright but was badly wounded, most probably on the day he died, or the previous one. The Battery was probably shelled by Germans which had targeted their position. His burial so close to where the gun positions confirms that he died before it was possible to evacuate him to a field hospital in the reserve areas down the coast at Calais.

Further information about Abraham can be found in the book “Hazel Grove to Armageddon” by John Eaton.

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