Fred Greaves VC

Fred Greaves VC, served in the 9th (Service) Battalion, Sherwood Foresters.  He and they saw service in Gallipoli, The Somme, Loos, Flanders and the last 100 days – The road to victory.

His daughter Hazel and I have talked many times about her Dad.  He seems to me to be the type of man you would want next to you whether in war or peace.  An ordinary man who on 4th October 1917 at Poelcapelle did an extraordinary thing.  

Fred Greaves’ Medals

(The doings of the battalion on 4th October 1917 can be found on the war diaries page).

There are a number of stories but perhaps the one I find most interesting is -:

Fred arrived back for leave prior to his VC investiture and his uniform was somewhat the worse for wear. He was told that a new one would be provided for his date at the Palace. 

On his return from Derbyshire by train, he was therefore in Civvie’s.  A ‘lady’ also on the train approached Fred and gave him a white feather !.  Fred said nothing to her.

Fred was also turned down for the army when he first tried to join up. He had had a serious accident some years before and his legs had suffered.  Despite this he had become a champion cyclist.   

Fred was offered a commission but left the Army after the war as a sergeant.

Fred lived a full life to the full.

Truly an heroic man.

Interestingly his brother Harry who was an officer, won the MC and two bars (three Military Crosses) in three months – September, October and November 1918. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Fred Greaves VC.

With Pals and kids – France or Belgium.

This seems a strange photo. So close to the death and carnage of the war – soldiers, children and a dog.