GREAVES, Frederick

Private Frederick Greaves
235854 King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
19026 & 656065 West Riding Regiment
656065 Labour Corps

Greaves Robert John & walter

Photo: Fred with elder brother Walter.

Frederick was born about 1876 at Pye Hill, Jacksdale son of Robert Greaves b. 1841 Calverton, Notts and his wife Rebecca Spencer from Somercotes. Frederick came from a large family, his brothers and sisters were: Walter, Thomas, Robert, William, Sarah, Florence, Harry, Anne and George.

In 1900 Frederick married Eliza Ellen Purdy. At the time of the 1901 Census Frederick and Eliza were living at High Street, Riddings with Eliza’s parents. Tragically just a few months later, Eliza died. Frederick appears on the 1911 census as an inmate at the Teesdale Union Workhouse, Barnard Castle, Durham. He is listed as a 34 year old widower.

Frederick’s service record later lists that whist he was serving he had a wife named Mabel and she was living at 46 Howard Street, Mansfield. It is also noted that he had a daughter named Winifred who was born in 1903. When Frederick was discharged from the army in 1919, his marital status is then given as widower with children. It is not clear whether Frederick took a second wife, who had also died.

Frederick enlisted in the KOYLI’s on 2nd November 1914, age given as 34 years (possibly under-stated). He was 5ft 8 inches tall, weighed 14 stones and had blue eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion. Religion was given as Wesleyan. He served at home in the UK until 11th September 1915 when he embarked for France. Just two weeks later on 26th September he sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder and was sent back to England to the North Staffordshire Infirmary on 6th October 1915, where he stayed for ten weeks. He was granted a week’s furlough and then sent to York where he was employed on military police work. In January 1916 he was ordered to report to Rugeley Camp, Staffs.  When he arrived at Rugeley a big shock was in store for him as the Army had lost track of his whereabouts and in November 1915 had declared him a deserter.  On 25th January 1916 Frederick was marched to the orderly room to answer the charge but fortunately his commanding officer recognised a discrepancy in the dates reporting as follows:-  “This man came before me this morning charged with desertion. The evidence produced which was documentary did not seem to me to be conclusive and I dismissed the case.”

Frederick served in the UK until 30th July 1916 when he returned to France until June 1917.  This was followed by another tour of duty at home until he returned to France for a third time in March 1918. He was finally demobbed in February 1919 aged 38.  His record notes that he also suffered from shell shock and myalgia and was regarded as 40% disabled on discharge.  He was awarded a pension of 11 shillings per week for  provisional period with no allowance for any children, who by then were presumably no longer dependent.

He was a recipient of the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory Medals.

Greaves parents Robert & Rebecca

Photo: Fred’s parents Robert & Rebecca