Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Harry Greatwich was the son of John Greatwich, labourer at a tannery, and his wife Catherine, who lived on Bernardís Hill. He was a younger brother of Corp Frederick Greatwich who was killed in 1916.
After leaving school, Harry was apprenticed to a grocer. He served in the 7th Battalion Kingís Shropshire Light Infantry. He died on 9th April, 1917, the first day of the First Battle of the Scarpe, in which his Division took part. He is buried at Beaurains Road Cemetery, Beaurains.
Private Greatwich, 18723, was awarded the Victory and British Medals.
MENTIONED IN DESPATCHES [Bridgnorth Journal, Saturday 6th January, 1917] Among those specially mentioned in Sir D. Haigís list, in connection with his recent despatch descriptive of the operations on the Somme in particular, and the Western front in general, is 18723 Private Harry Greatwich, K.S.L.I., whose home is 11 Bernardís Hill, Bridgnorth.
A PATRIOTIC BRIDGNORTH FAMILY [Bridgnorth Journal, Saturday 27th January, 1917] 13186 Company-Q.M.-Sergt. Sidney Greatwich, Shropshire Light Infantry, to whom the King has been pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the field, is a native of Bridgnorth, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Greatwich, live at No. 11, Bernardís Hill. He is one of six brothers who joined the army. His brother, Corpl. Fredk. Jas., K.S.L.I., was killed in action on June 25th, 1916. His brother, Pte. Harry. K.S.L.I. (attached Trench Mortar Battery), was mentioned in despatches by Sir Douglas Haig early this month. Pte. Reginald John Greatwich, R.A.M.C., and Gunner Arthur Greatwich, R.G.A., are serving in France, and his other brother, Pte. Horace, Welsh Regiment, was discharged owing to rheumatic fever, and is now working in munitions. In addition to the above, Ernest E. Greatwich, an older brother, is engaged in the making of big shells in Birmingham. He served eight years in the Volunteer corps.
BRIDGNORTH MAN WOUNDED [Bridgnorth Journal, 5th May, 1917] Mr John Greatwich, 11 Bernardís Hill, has received official notification from the Infantry Record Office, Shrewsbury, stating that a report was received from the War Office on the 30th April, to the effect that his son, 18723 Private H. Greatwich, Kingís Shropshire Light Infantry, was wounded in action, at a place not stated, on the 9th April, and expressing sympathy and regret of the Army Council. Mr. and Mrs. Greatwich have lost one son in the war, Corporal Frederick Jas. Greatwich, K.S.L.I., who unfortunately fell in action in June last year, and they still have several other sons in the Army. One, Q.M.S. Sidney Greatwich, K.S.L.I., was awarded the Military Medal in January last, and Pte. Harry Greatwich, now reported wounded, was mentioned in despatches by Sir D. Haig in January of this year.
KILLED IN ACTION [Bridgnorth Journal, 19th May, 1917] Mr. John Greatwich, 11 Bernardís Hill, has received from the Infantry Record Office, Shrewsbury, official notification that a report was received from the War Office on the 7th May, stating that his son, 18723 Pte. H. Greatwich, Kingís Shropshire Light Infantry, was killed in action, at a place not stated on the 9th April. It will be remembered that Mr. Greatwich received an official notification on the 1st May, stating that his son was wounded in action on the date now given as that on which he was killed. This is the second son Mr. and Mrs. Greatwich have lost in the war.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.