Harry Mellor (1895-?)

Harry Mellor was a swimming instructor.


He was born Harry Mellor Hampshire on 23 March 1895 in Batley, the son of cloth finisher Herbert Hampshire[1] and his wife Harriet Ann (née Brook), but later baptised as Harry Mellor. Herbert had been born out of wedlock to Betty Hampshire who later married Ben Mellor, and he used both surnames during his lifetime.[2]

The 1911 Census shows from the birth locations of the children that the family had moved several times: Slaithwaite, Holmfirth, Batley, Slaithwaite, and then Huddersfield.[3]

By 1910, the family were living in the Huddersfield area and Harry was baptised on 28 July 1910 at St. Thomas on Manchester Road. The 1911 Census recorded the family living 38 Marsden Road, Lockwood, where Harry had found work as a bobbin winder.

He served in the Royal Navy[4] between January 1914 and June 1921, and trained at the HMS Vivid II barracks at Devonport.[5] His service record described him as being 5ft 4¼ inches tall and chest 35½ inches, with brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. His time spent serving on the HMS Bellerophon overlapped with the Battle of Jutland in May 1916.

He married Ethel May Dowson (1898-1971)[6], daughter of farmer William Dowson, on 11 February 1922 at St. John's Church. One of the witnesses at the wedding was Harry's sister, Mary Emma Mellor. At that time, he was working as a motor driver and residing at 4 Fountain Grove, Milnsbridge, but it seems he then moved into his wife's house at 139 Bradford Road, Shearing Cross.

The couple had one known daughter:

  • Muriel C. Mellor (1932-?)[7]

By the time of the 1937 Directory, the Mellor's were still living at 139 Bradford Road and Harry's occupation was recorded as "swimming instructor" in the 1939 Register.

An undated business card gave his address as 79 Pollard Street, Fartown.

A number of his possessions were sold at auction in 2016, including a selection of postcard photographs of swimmers which it is assumed he coached. Amongst them is a photograph of 200 yard breaststroke champion William Stoney who competed in two Olympic Games.

There is a local death index entry for a Harry Mellor in 1958 (aged 63)[8] or he may have been the Harry Hampshire of Leeds Road, Huddersfield, who died age 78 on 14 January 1973 and was buried at Almondbury.


The following images include photographs and postcards owned by Harry Mellor, which include swimmers that he is presumed to have tutored.

    Loading... ::::::omeka tag Harry Mellor Collection:::omeka tag Harry Mellor (1895-?):::

Notes and References

  1. Born on 3 December 1858.
  2. Entries in the historical records can be found for Herbert Mellor, Herbert Hampshire Mellor, and Herbert Mellor Hampshire. Harry was named as Harry Mellor Hampshire in the birth index but baptised as Harry Mellor.
  3. Herbert and Harriet Ann had at least 13 children.
  4. Service number SS115279.
  5. The designation Vivid II implies that Mellor trained in the Stokers and Engine Room Artificers School at the barracks.
  6. Born 16 May 1898.
  7. Born 17 June 1932.
  8. The Harry Mellor who died in January 1953 (aged 58) was a different person whose wife was named Lizzie.

Harry Mellor (1895-?)


This page was last modified on 9 April 2019 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

Search Huddersfield Exposed