WW1 men who are not
on any local memorial
There are several men whose deaths were due to the War, but who, for various reasons, do not appear on any local War Memorial. Some of these men's names will be gradually added to this page.
NOTE: this is work in progress. If you would like me to include someone you think deserves to be remembered on this page, please let me know.
NOTE: this table displays better on a large screen
PRIVATE ARNOLD GREAVES 367115
Enlisted 4 December 1917
Died 20 January 1918 aged 19
Arnold Greaves is buried in Bolsterstone churchyard, but he is not commemorated on any of the local war memorials. He does, however, have a headstone provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Committee.
Arnold was the youngest of four children born to Joseph and Emily Greaves. Both had been born locally and they married in 1887. In 1891 they were living at Ling Bank, Stocksbridge, but by the time Arnold was born in 1898 they were at 31 Haywoods Park. Arnold had only just turned two years old when his father died in 1900.
At some time between 1901 and 1911 the widowed Emily moved to Meltham with her three youngest children, Ida, John and Arnold. Lois, the eldest child, had married Eustace Walton at Bolsterstone in 1906 and stayed local for a while, but they did later move to Meltham.
Arnold enlisted at Huddersfield on the 4th December 1917, joining the Labour Corps. He gave his age as 19 years 295 days and his address as Clarke Lane, Meltham. At his medical examination he was not deemed fit enough to undergo the military training, which would have seen him sent overseas to fight. He was classed as “Grade III sedentary” by the medical board, suitable for non-combat duties on home service.
Arnold was 5’ ¾” tall, but weighed just under 7 stones. An eye test showed that he did not have perfect vision (6/6) but had 6/9 vision in each eye; this sight defect was not sufficient in itself to cause rejection, but he had other health issues too. He was said to be under weight and his chest expansion measurement was also marked as “under;” he had a flat left foot, mitral systolic compensation (a problem with his heart), deafness in his left ear and a perforated ear drum. His classification of “Grade 3 Sedentary” meant that, although not suitable for active duty, he would be fit for one of the auxiliary services such as clerical work or another sedentary occupation such as tailoring or boot making.
Having expressed a preference to join the Royal Flying Corps on enlisting, Arnold was transferred to the R.F.C. at Farnborough on the 18th January 1918. Sadly, his military service was not to be.
Two days later, on the 20th January, Arnold was admitted to the Military Isolation Hospital at Aldershot, with cerebrospinal fever [meningitis]. He was admitted at 10.25am and died less than two hours later, at 1pm. The Officer in Charge of the Hospital wrote in his report that he was of the opinion “that the disease from which death resulted was caused by Military Service.” This seems at first an odd statement, but from the outbreak of the War it had been realised that cases of meningitis had rocketed. The gathering of many young men in camps, barracks and billets, crowded together in close contact, helped lead to a widespread epidemic of what was called “Spotted Fever,” Cerebro-spinal Fever or Meningococcal Meningitis. The numbers remained high throughout the War.
I have come across several documents issued by War Hospitals which specifically state that a man’s death was due to Military Service. The reason for this relates to the right to a military pension. It has also come to be one of the criteria for commemoration by the C.W.G.C.
Arnold’s body was claimed by his relatives for burial at Meltham, and a form was issued for the free conveyance to Deepcar Station. For some reason, he was not taken to Meltham, but was buried at Bolsterstone, perhaps because his father was buried there. His personal effects were forwarded to his mother and consisted of two handkerchiefs, one razor in a case, a purse, one shilling, one small key, one safety razor in a case, one photo and a letter. He was 19 years old.
The family mostly stayed in Meltham. His mother Emily died there in 1940. Daughter Ida married James Harrison and they remained in the area, naming one of their sons Arnold in memory of Ida’s brother. John married Evelyn Richardson in 1922 but he moved away; in 1939 he was running a newsagent’s shop in Lancaster. By 1939 daughter Lois had moved from Stocksbridge to Meltham with her husband Eustace Walton and their children.
I have been unable to find a photograph of Arnold.
Thanks to Sally Jowitt for bringing Arnold to my attention. It is thanks to Sally, who works with the “Eyes On, Hands On” Volunteer Programme, that we now know that Arnold’s name is etched on a War Memorial; he is commemorated on the memorial at St Bartholomew’s Church in Meltham.
PRIVATE Harold Brown
There is a reason you won't find Harold Brown's name on any memorial, even though everyone thought he was dead - he was not. In October 1918 his parents received notification that he had been killed in action on the [11th or 12th] September. A memorial sevice was held at St. Matthias, a notice inserted in the newspaper and silk momorial ribbons sent out to relative. Insurance policies were claimed and received. Then on the 9th December he surprised his parents by walking into their house. He had been held in a Prisoner of War camp and had been making his way home since his release after the Armistice was signed. See here for a full story.