Private WILLIAM HORACE GREENFIELD

Regiment: Coldstream Guards 2nd Battalion
Service No: 20170
Date & place of birth: January to March 1887, Boston, Lincolnshire
Date & place of death: 10 October 1917, Belgium

Private William Horace Greenfield moved to Petworth not long before war broke out, presumably for work reasons, and married a local girl.

Family background

Private William Horace Greenfield was born in Boston Lincolnshire. His parents were William and Sara and his father was a market gardener. William had three brothers and sisters though one had died by 1911. His youngest brother John Evan Greenfield was killed on 28 August 1918.  In 1911 William was working as a hairdresser’s assistant and living at 23a High St Rugby Warwickshire. At some time he moved to Petworth as he married Ethel Whitcomb in Petworth in 1915. Ethel was born and grew up in Petworth.

Military career

William enlisted in Grantham in November 1916 although he was resident in Petworth, into the Coldstream Guards .

Death & commemoration

William was killed in action on 10 October 1917 aged 30, probably during the German retreat to the Hinderberg line. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and was awarded the British and Victory medals.

Subsequent family history

Ethel remarried in 1924 becoming Ethel Spray and was living in Stoke Newington after the war. William and Ethel had a son Denis born on 4 June 1917 who married Nora Simmonds in 1945. They probably had two daughters Marilyn and Janis and lived in Tottenham. Denis died aged 72 in Poole.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project