Max Evens Melbourn, RNR

Born  18 Nov 1905
Died  14 Feb 1976(70)

Max Evens Melbourn.
© Kim Melbourn / Demelza Melbourn


22 Oct 1939 T/Lt.
??? T/A/Lt.Cdr.


Warship Commands listed for Max Evens Melbourn, RNR

HMS Worthing (J 72)T/A/Lt.Cdr.Minesweeper2 Sep 19449 Jun 1945

Career information

Max Melbourn enlisted into the Merchant Navy when he left St. Olaves School, London in 1921. He gained his Masters Ticket in the Service and sailed as the skipper on the P&O line up until the great slump when he was made redundant. However, he volunteered as soon as war was declared in 1939 and was placed in the RNR. He first saw action at Dunkirk when he took a ‘merchantman’ over there to help rescue members of the British Expeditionary Force who were trapped on the beaches.

He then went into Minesweepers and held medals for working in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans. He eventually was made skipper of a minesweeper, given to the RN by the USA, called HMS Worthing. He served on that ship until the end of the war when he was demobbed in 1945.

Max was born in Muswell Hill, where he lived for most of his childhood. He married Elsie Curry on August 5th 1933 and moved to St. Albans. They had four children: two boys and two girls. Max’s main hobby was breeding budgerigars. He became a national champion and was also a registered judge for the British Budgerigar Association. He also enjoyed a game of snooker over a ‘few’ pints of beer! After being demobbed from the Navy, despite then owning the Melbourn Brothers All Saints Ales Brewery in Stamford, he worked until he retired at 60 for the Eastern Electricity Board as a central heating salesman. Max and Elsie retired to Somerset in 1966, where they lived first in Halse and finally in Pyleigh, both villages in the Vale of Taunton.

Max, known to his family as ‘The Yoge’ (for Yogi Bear), was a larger than life character who enjoyed floating either on the high seas or with a pint in hand down at the local Conservative Club, and had a lifelong love for the ocean.

Text and photo kindly provided by Kim Melbourn / Demelza Melbourn.

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