William Henry Greaves (1875-1918)
Hotel manager served with the Yorkshire Hussars in France and Flanders
William was born in 1875 at Yeadon, near Leeds. He was the son of Joseph Keighley and Mary Ann Greaves. He had two brothers, Thomas and Walter, and two sisters, Anne Elizabeth and Janet. His father was an overseer in a woollen mill, and in 1891 William Henry was aged 16 and working as a warp twister. By 1911 William was working as a hotel manager, running the Spa Hotel at Middleton St George, where his wife, Frances, was cook.
He enrolled at Darlington in 4th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Princess Alexandra’s Own), more generally known as the Green Howards, and is said to have been in the Snipers Section.
He gave his address on enrolment as Weardale, and his wife was landlady at the Kings Arms, Saint John’s Chapel after the war, so he may have been landlord there when he joined up.
William was killed in action, aged 43, on 26 March 1918, when the Green Howards suffered many casualties in a great German offensive. Pozieres near Arras was the site of one major battle, and the 4th and 5th Battalions were both so depleted that the survivors were joined in one composite battalion, and by July 1918 they were reduced to cadre strength and ceased to exist as a fighting unit.
William Greaves has no known grave, but is recorded on the Pozieres Memorial, France.
Civil Parish: Stanhope
Birth date: 1875
Death date: 26-March-1918
Armed force/civilian: Army
Residence: South Parade, Yeadon
Spa Hotel, Middleton St George
Employment: Warp twister
Family: Father: Joseph Keighley Greaves
Mother: Mary Ann Greaves
Brothers: Thomas and Walter
Sisters: Anne Elizabeth and Janet
Private, 4th Battalion, Yorkshire Hussars, unit number 201996. Served in France and Flanders
Medal(s): British War medal
Memorial(s): Pozieres Memorial, France
Saint John’s Chapel, village green, war memorial
Saint John’s Chapel, town hall, roll of honour
Contributed by John B | Mel Brown