War Memorial (Saline)

Main Street
Front of Saline Parish Church
Saline
KY12 9TL

War Memorial (Saline)

Memorial/Site of Conscience

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Names in the Stone (Saline War Memorial)

Almost every town and village in the United Kingdom has a war memorial that bears witness to the young men who gave their lives fighting in the 1914 -18 war, known as the Great War. Saline is no exception; and the anguish of parents and wives of the men who would never return to their native country and the bosom of their families is reflected in the names carved on the War Memorial that stands before the main door of Saline parish church.

Read this memorial and you will see familiar names of families who still reside in the parish. One well-known Saline name may well catch your attention, as there are two inscriptions that bear the surname “Mellon”.

Corporal William Mellon of the 1st Battalion Black Watch was killed on Monday, 25th January 1915. We have only a vague description of where he died, this being in an area enclosed on the north by the river Lys and a line drawn from Estaires to Fournes, and on the South by the old Southern boundary of the First Army about Grenay. The news of William’s death would probably have reached Saline a few weeks later when a telegram from the Ministry of War would have been delivered to William Mellon’s mother and father, Charles and Agnes Mellon who lived in North Road, informing them of their son’s death.

It is maybe possible to appreciate the depth of sadness the loss of a son inflicted upon Charles and Agnes. It is, however, infinitely more difficult to fully comprehend the sheer desolation caused in the household when a second telegram arrived in May of the same year, informing them of the death of a second son, Private Patrick Mellon, who was killed in the same region of France as his brother.

William was 23 years old, Patrick was 21, and both served with the Black Watch. Neither of their bodies were found or if they were, they could not be identified. This was by no means an unusual occurrence in the unbelievable, hellish conditions of the battlefields when a body could sink without trace in the mud and when men could be literally blown to pieces by the enemy’s shells.

It is difficult if not impossible to comprehend the horror of the battles that took place at this time. Only a very few men and women are left who either participated in that bloody conflict or suffered and endured the bereavement of a loved one.

Let us hope and pray that there is never a need to carve further names on to that stone that stands before the door of Saline Kirk.

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