Theodore Bayley Hardy, VC, DSO, MC (20 October 1863 – 18 October 1918) was a British Army chaplain and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. In addition to the VC, Hardy had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross, making him one of the most decorated non-combatants of the First World War.
Hardy was born 20 October 1863 to George and Sarah Richards Hardy of Exeter. Hardy was educated at the Royal Commercial Travellers School, Pinner, Middlesex from 1872 to 1879, City of London School from 1879 to 1882 and at the University of London. He was ordained in 1898. He was an Assistant Master at Nottingham High School from 1891 to 1907, teaching D. H. Lawrence; a Junior School house there is named in his honour. From 1907 to 1913, Hardy was headmaster of Bentham Grammar School in West Yorkshire. He was married to Florence Elizabeth Hastings, with whom he had a son and daughter. Mrs Hardy died after a year of illness in 1914.
Edward Noel Mellish VC MC DL (24 December 1880 – 8 July 1962) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Edward Noel Mellish was born on 24 December 1880 at Oakleigh Park, Barnet, North London. He was the son of Edward and Mary Mellish. He went on to be educated at Saffron Walden Grammar School and from there became a member of the Artists Rifles. In 1900 he began serving with Baden-Powell’s Police during the Second Boer War in South Africa.
He returned to study Theology at King’s College London and took holy orders in 1912.
World War I
On the outbreak of the First World War Mellish was assistant curate at St Paul’s, Deptford. He offered his services to the chaplaincy and served from May 1915 until February 1919. Just a few months after the start of his service, his brother Second Lieutenant Richard Coppin Mellish was killed in action whilst serving with the 1st Middlesex Regiment at the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915. Reverend Mellish was attached … Read the rest
William Robert Fountaine Addison VC (18 September 1883 – 7 January 1962) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
The Reverend William Addison was educated at Robert Mays School, Odiham, Hants, and as a young man worked as a lumberjack in Canada. After studying at Salisbury Theological College, he was ordained in 1913 and became curate of St Edmund’s Church, Salisbury.
First World War
Upon the outbreak of First World War, he volunteered for the Army Chaplain’s Department. He became a Temporary Chaplain of the Forces, 4th Class in the Army Chaplain’s Department, British Army, when the following deed took place on 9 April 1916 at Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia, for which he was awarded the VC “for most conspicuous bravery”:
He carried a wounded man to the cover of a trench, and assisted several others to the same cover, after binding up their wounds under heavy rifle and machine gun fire.
In addition to these unaided efforts, by his splendid example and utter disregard of personal danger, he encouraged the stretcher-bearers … Read the rest
The Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (RAChD) is an all-officer department that provides ordained clergy to minister to the British Army.
The Army Chaplains’ Department (AChD) was formed by Royal Warrant of 23 September 1796; until then chaplains had been part of individual regiments, but not on the central establishment. Only Anglican chaplains were recruited until 1827, when Presbyterians were recognised, but not commissioned until 1858. Roman Catholic chaplains were recruited from 1836, Methodist chaplains from 1881, and Jewish chaplains from 1892. During the First World War some 4,400 Army Chaplains were recruited and 179 lost their lives on active service. The department received the “Royal” prefix in February 1919. During the Second World War another 96 British and 38 Commonwealth Army Chaplains lost their lives.
From 1946 to 1996, the RAChD’s Headquarters, Depot and Training Centre were at Bagshot Park in Surrey, now the home of The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. In 1996, they moved to the joint service Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre at Amport House near Andover, Hampshire. Since 2020 the joint centre has been based at Beckett House, part of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, just outside Shrivenham, Oxfordshire.