The 1901 Census notes that Herbert's father, William Melville had been born in Scotland and was working locally as a carpenter. His mother, Ruth, originated from Somerset and was aged 49.
The Census records Herbert, then aged 8, as having been born in Heaton Norris. A number of other people named Melville, similarly born in Heaton Norris, were probably his siblings - Rhoda (23), Agnes (21), George (15) and James (13). Three other Melvilles, all born in Paulton, Somerset, are also listed as living in Stockport - Austen (34), Alice (28) and Emily (26), but it is not known if they are related or it is a co-incidence that Herbert's mother also came from Somerset. Possibly they were also her children, although she would have been young when Austen Melville was born.(NB: this research project does not have funding which would enable a full search of the Census to take place and establish the family relationships).
By the time of the Great War, it is thought that William & Ruth Melville had died but Herbert's brothers and sisters still lived locally. By this time, Herbert was working in the cotton industry for the Dolphin Doubling Company and he enlisted in the army in the early part of 1916.
Military records indicate that Herbert was seriously wounded. He would have been brought to Amara , which was the major hospital centre for troops in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). It is not known how long he had been in hospital before he died.