Born: In the Parish of Craig near Montrose Forfarshire

Date of Act of Bravery: 21st April 1917 at Istabulat, Iraq

London Gazette: 23rd November 1917

Location of VC: Black Watch Museum

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery, coolness and resource in action. Private Melvin's Company had advanced to within fifty yards of the front line trench of a redoubt, where owing to the intensity of the enemy's fire, the men were obliged to lie down and wait for reinforcements. Private Melvin, however, rushed on by himself, over ground swept from end to end by rifle and machine gunfire. On reaching the enemy's trench he halted and fired two or three shots into it, killing one or two enemy, but as the others in the trench continued to fire at him he jumped into it and attacked them with his bayonet in his hand, as owing to his rifle being damaged, it was not fixed. On being attacked in this resolute manner most of the enemy fled to their second line but not before Private Melvin had killed two more and succeeded in disarming eight unwounded and one wounded. Private Melvin bound up the wounds of the wounded man and then driving the eight unwounded prisoners before him, and supporting the wounded one, he hustled them out of the trench and marched them in and delivered them over to an officer. He then provided himself with a load of ammunition and returned to the firing line where he reported himself to his Platoon Sergeant. All this was done not only under intense machine gun and rifle fire, but the whole way back Private Melvin and his party were exposed to a very heavy artillery barrage fire. Throughout the day Private Melvin greatly inspired those near him with his confidence and courage.

Army Service: Age on enlistment: 20
Trade: Factory Worker
Date of enlistment: 4th April 1907
Transferred to Class Z Army Reserve: 15th April 1919
At home: 2yrs 114 days
India: 6 yrs 93 days
France: 296 days
Persian Gulf: 1 yr 239 days
Egypt: 1 yr
Total: 12 yrs 12 days

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