Greenhough Family Tree

Richard (Dick) Greenhough (1896 - 1963)

 
Richard
Greenhough
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Mary
Whistance
Richard
Greenhough
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Anne
Beatrice
Lavender
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Mary
Lavender
Greenhough
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Anne
Elizabeth
Greenhough
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Denis
Richard
Greenhough
 
Richard
Greenhough
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(2)
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Irene
Marjorie
Port
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No children
 


Richard (Dick) Greenhough was the son of Richard Greenhough and Mary Whistance.

Dick was born on Friday 24 April 1896 in Wednesbury, Staffordshire.

He was christened on Tuesday 19 May 1896.

Dick married Anne Beatrice (Bugsy) Lavender on Sunday 12 September 1920 in St James Church, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.

His best man seems to have been his brother Alf, just decommissioned from the R.F.C.

He had the following children from his marriage to Anne Beatrice (Bugsy) Lavender:

- Mary Lavender Greenhough

born on 24 May 1922 in 5 (now renumbered 7), Garratt Street, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.

- Anne Elizabeth Greenhough

born on 29 September 1923 in 5 (now renumbered 7), Garratt Street, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.

- Denis Richard (Pinkie) Greenhough

born on 14 December 1925 in 7, Garratt Street, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.

Dick's second marriage was to Irene Marjorie Port on Wednesday 12 December 1945 in The Register Office, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.
The witnesses at the marriage were Mary Greenhough and Richard Greenhough.
Dick was 49 years old and Irene was 47 years old when they married.

The places where he lived have been identified as:

From To Place Source of Information
1896    Wednesbury, Staffordshire.  Note 1. 
1901    Brunswick Park Road, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.  Note 2. 
1920    The Crescent, Wood Green, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.  Note 3. 
1922  1937  5 (now renumbered 7), Garratt Street, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.  Note 4. 
1937  1945  4, Hallewell Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham.  Note 5. 
1945    128, Brunswick Park Road, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.  Note 6. 
1945    296, Lordswood Road, Harborne, Birmingham.  Note 7. 
1963    12, Corporation Street, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.  Note 8. 

Dick was an Engineer, and later a Cost Clerk.
On the 1939 Census, he was Rental Clerk Gas Department, and an A.R.P. Warden and Instructor.

Dick died when he was 67 years old, on Wednesday 24 July 1963 in Hallam Hospital, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.   The cause of his death was Cerebral Thrombosis and Mitral Heart Disease.   D. R. Greenhough (son) was the informant of his death.

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Dick was educated at King Edward’s, Birmingham.   He signed up at the Wolverhampton Recruiting Office for the 11th Reserve Cavalry “B” Squadron on 15th August 1914, a week after Kitchener’s appeal for volunteers, as Private No.12250.   He was then aged 18 years and 114 days, described as a “Clerk”, weight 132 lbs, height 5’ 9 7/8”, with a fresh complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair.   His religion was Church of England.   He appears to have commenced training at Scarborough on August 18th and was posted as a Private on 26th August.

However, after sleeping overnight in a wet tent in late October 1914, he suffered a crippling attack of rheumatism. According to his army medical report, he had first suffered from it in 1906 (at the age of ten) and it had recurred every winter since.   He was given hospital treatment by the Army and a month in a convalescent home followed by three months at home, but remained very lame and only able to walk with a stick.   As a result, he was invalidated out of the Army on 22nd July 1915 with a pension of 6s 3d for 12 months.   The Army Medical Board felt he needed at least 12 months to recover.

In 1917 he rejoined the Army as Private No. 767083 in the 3rd Battalion Artist’s Rifles, or 3/28th Battalion The London Regiment.   His number indicates that he joined between 25th September and 26th October 1917.  Although this was known as a unit for public school and university men, it is unclear how Dick came to join what was essentially a London-based unit.   According to his nephew, John Greenhough, he tried to join the Welsh Guards in London (with whom his brother, Charles was serving).    This must have all been rather frustrating for Dick and probably to avoid the “humiliation” of being just an ordinary private he joined the Artists’ Rifles (normally a swift route to becoming an officer).

The Artist’s Rifles were a volunteer unit dating from 1860, originally a battalion of the Rifle Volunteer Corps, and incorporated into the new Territorial Force in 1908.    They had been founded by a group of painters and art students, hence the name.   By 1914 they had a reputation for training officers, and when the British Expeditionary Force needed more junior officers in a hurry, the Artist’s Rifles duly obliged; their 1st Battalion had been sent to France in late October, and 52 of their privates were commissioned there on 12th November 1914, and a further 62 on 22nd November.   Meanwhile, back in England, the formation of the 2nd Battalion on 31st August had led to 5000 applications to join, of which only 1000 were accepted.   A 3rd Battalion was formed on 1st January 1915, which subsequently became the 2nd when the 1st absorbed the original 2nd.   Until the summer of 1917 the 1st Battalion served in France primarily as an Officer Training Corps, but after that date cadet schools in France were closed and all training was done in England.   From this time it was sent into the lines, allocated to the 190th Brigade in the Royal Naval Division (63rd).

In 1917 the Royal Naval Division (RND) had been involved with fighting at Passchendaele (near Ypres), but were moved southwards to the Somme in early 1918.    Dick will have undergone training in England during the late part of 1917 and arrived in France on 9th April the following year and posted to the front on 14th April (arriving with the 151 other ranks “from 2nd Bn” as mentioned in the AR War Diary from 1918).    The RND had been very busy in March resisting the last great German offensive of the War (in the vicinity of the Somme).    It was a huge effort by the Germans to try and destroy the British army as the Americans prepared to join the action.    Although not as drawn out as the 1916 Battle of the Somme...there was a horrendous loss of life.    The RND made a systematic retreat from what was called the Flesquieres Salient and managed against great odds to resist the advance in the vicinity of Aveluy Wood close to the River Ancre (a Somme tributary) just East of the hamlet of Albert.    The fighting was still pretty fierce in early April...and this would be the context of Dick's arrival on 14th April.

The Artist’s Rifles took part in the latter stages of the Passchendaele battle above Ypres.   On 30th October, they attacked the ridge in appalling weather conditions, suffering the loss of 6 officers and 70 other ranks killed, 4 officers and 130 other ranks wounded, and 124 other ranks missing.   They were relieved on the evening of the 31st.

In the notes from the ARs War Diary of three woods (Aveluy, Toutencourt and Acheux) which now formed the "Front Line", the various brigades would have been rotated, hence the references to Talmas, Forceville and Arqueves (where presumably they got some rest of a kind, although within reach of Howitzers etc).    It is probably at one of these resting stations that Dick met up with his brother Alf (serving with the RFC).    The RFC were very active in the Somme area during the period March-April 1918 as they had to keep a watch on the German movements behind the front.    The family story is that one recognised his brother’s piano playing and followed the music across a crowded mess-room.    The story, depending on who remembers it, contains Dick and either Alf or Charles.    Incidentally, reference has also been found to the use of gas in the vicinity of Aveluy Wood during March and April.    Mustard gas in particular would quickly bring on respiratory problems for someone prone to rheumatism.    Dick's daughter, Ann, specifically mentioned that Dick suffered from gas in WWI.    Dick left France on 6 July 1918 presumably with respiratory problems associated with his rheumatism.    The date 6th July coincides with the AR war diary entry “Relieved and moved to Bivouacs in P9”.    Rheumatism can weaken the heart and can especially affect the mitral valve.    I believe the mitral valve is specifically mentioned on his death certificate.

Dick subsequently told his son Denis that he had been involved in the fighting at Passchendaele.   If so, he must have been shipped out more-or-less immediately after joining the Artist’s Rifles, as their War Diary records drafts of fresh soldiers being received on 26th September and 28th September, and then no more until 23rd November.   The Artist’s Rifles Roll of Honour only records that he served overseas, without details; however, Dick’s entry in the Artist’s Rifles Roll of individuals entitled to the Victory Medal and the British War Medal has the dates 9th April 1918 to 6th July 1918; this may indicate that these were the dates he served in France, allowing for a period of training in England first, which would rule out involvement in the Passchendaele campaign.

John Greenhough remembers an incident in Wednesbury where Dick had to cut short an anecdote about Passchendaele when a “real” veteran walked into the pub!    There is no doubt that the ARs were in the Passchendaele area in 1917, but Dick seems to have joined them later when they were further south.   Dick could have always said “WE were at Passchendale” … referring to his regiment!

Although not himself commissioned, Dick used to say that a private in the Artist’s Rifles was the equivalent of an officer in other units; while not strictly true, it seems that the Artist’s Rifles private soldiers went on to be commissioned in other units so frequently that there was a probability that anyone who served in the Artist’s Rifles for long enough -and survived - would receive a commission.   Perhaps Dick did not have the time or the health to advance - the unit remained in France until the Armistice on November 11th 1918, but the implication is that Dick may have not been there after July.   The conditions in France can hardly have been ideal for someone suffering from rheumatism!

Dick and his new wife Bugsy lived briefly at The Crescent, Wood Green, before moving into a new council house at 5, Garrett Street in West Bromwich (this was later renumbered 7).    In 1937 they moved to 4, Hallewell Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, possibly so that Denis could qualify for a scholarship to Five Ways School by living within Birmingham.   Dick worked at the Gas Board in West Bromwich; his promotion to the Head Office in Birmingham was another reason for the move.

The marriage foundered during the Second World War, and Dick and Bugsy were divorced, the decree nisi being granted on 21st March 1945 and the decree absolute on 12th November.   The grounds were that Dick had treated Bugsy with cruelty (although as the law at the time required a good reason for granting a divorce this need not be taken literally).    He married a fellow divorcee Marjorie Boardman (nee Port) on 12th December 1945 and went to live in her house at 296, Lordswood Road, Harborne, and work for her father at Barclays Bank in Colmore Row, Birmingham, but the marriage was not a success and they were divorced soon after.

Dick had, as a companion in his later years, Dorothy Davis, and at the time of his death they were living at 12, Corporation Street, Wednesbury.   He died on 24th July 1963 and was cremated, despite having undergone a late conversion to Roman Catholicism.   Dorothy spent her later years with her two sisters at 9, Goldicroft Road, Wednesbury, and died in August 1993.
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The above biographical information was provided by Richard Greenhough and Charles Hippisley-Cox.
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Notes - Sources of information:
1. Birth Certificate?
2. See 1901 Census
3. Information provided by Richard Greenhough.
4. Birth Certificates of his children.
5. Information provided by Richard Greenhough.
6. Marriage Certificate to Irene Marjorie Boardman (nee Port).
7. Information provided by Richard Greenhough.
8. Death Certificate.

Census Data:

Year Address
1901 Brunswick Park Road, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.
1911 21, Brunswick Park Road, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.
1939 4 Hallewell Road, Edgebaston, Birmingham.