Remembering a Fylde war hero, 100 years on

Robert Greaves
Robert Greaves
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The second fallen war hero who coincidentally was killed on the same day, was Fylde’s Robert Greaves.

Robert was the great uncle of Gazette reader, Sheila Parker, who wrote in to share details of his life and this wonderful historical photograph.

She said: “He was a member of a local family and many older readers will remember the Greaves and Eaves families who worked for the Cliftons of Lytham Hall.

“I have researched his life as much as I can and four years ago, I was able to visit Dud Corner Cemetery in northern France, where he is commemorated.

“I was very proud I was able to place a small wooden memorial cross there.”

Robert was born, in 1888, to Henry and Mary Ann Greaves (nee Eaves) – one of eight children and lived on Heyhouses lane.

The cottage had been used as the original Heyhouses school, before reverting to a family home when the new school was built. Father and brothers were employed by the Clifton Estate.

Robert attended Heyhouses School before working as a joiner and lodging at Greaves Farm. He joined the 1st/5th battalion the King’s Liverpool Regiment as a volunteer in November 1914, and saw active service almost straight away. He was soon promoted to Corporal.

In 1916, he was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery at the Battle of Flers, on the Somme – the first solider from this area to achieve the honour.

He was wounded and treated in army hospital, and he can be seen on a photograph wearing “hospital blues” – the uniform worn by wounded soldiers as it was more easily laundered. His family do not know where the hospital was.

On returning to the front, Robert took part in some of the most important battles of the latter part of the war, and was killed on April 9, 1918, at the Battle of Estaires, part of the Last Push in the Ypres campaign.

He has no known grave, but is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, as well as on the war memorial at Ashton Gardens, St Annes.