Private 4015 Thomas Greenfield

Greenfield Thomas 96 414x600

Died of Wounds on Monday, 21st August 1916, age 26.
Buried in Grave II. H. 7. at Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.

1st/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 144th Brigade of 48th Division.

Son of Charles and Mary Greenfield, of 18, Bridge Rd., Toll End, Tipton, Staffs. Husband of Martha Greenfield, of 5 Court, 3 House, Old Cross St., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Mark's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/202597/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Thomas Greenfield registered March quarter 1888 at Dudley.

1891 Census
2 House 1 Court, Walker Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Charles Greenfield (30, General Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Mary (30, born Tipton), and their 4 children: Charles (7, Scholar, born Tipton), Albert (6, Scholar, born Tipton), Arthur (5, Scholar, born Tipton), and Thomas (3, born Tipton).

1901 Census
15 Walker Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Charles Greenfield (42, Labourer in Bridge Building Yard, born Tipton), his wife Mary (42, born Tipton), and their 7 children: Charles (17, Coal Miner, born Tipton), Albert (16, Rivet Heater in Bridge Building Yard, born Tipton), Arthur (14, Spring and Axle Maker, born Tipton), Thomas (13, Spring and Axle Maker, born Tipton), Maud (9, born Tipton), Ellen (5, born Tipton), and John (2, born Tipton).

1911 Census
18 Bridge Road, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Charles Greenfield (49, General Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Mary (51, born Tipton), and 8 of their 9 children: Bert (26, Tube Screwer, born Tipton), Arthur (25, Tube Turner and Driller, born Tipton), Thomas (24, Tuber Screwer, born Tipton), Maud (19, born Tipton), Ellen (17, born Tipton), John (12, School, born Tipton), James (10, School, born Tipton), and Mary (8, School, born Tipton).

Marriage of Thomas Greenfield and Martha Watts registered December quarter 1914 in Dudley. Thomas and Martha had 2 children, Mary Jane Watts born 8th January 1914 before they were married, and Nellie Greenfield born on 8th April 1915.

Personal Data

Thomas was the second of 3 Greenfield brothers to be killed, the other two were Arthur in 1915 and Albert in 1918. One other brother is also known to have been in the Army but survived, this was probably the eldest - Charles.
His grave has recorded: "In Remembrance" wife and children.

After Thomas's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/8/11d (4 pounds, 8 shillings and 11 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Martha, in March 1917. His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in November 1919. Martha had re-married in March quarter 1918, and was now Mrs Martha Jay. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Albert had enlisted in approximately May 1915.

Martha was awarded a Pension for herself and her 2 children of 18/6d (18 shillings and 6 pence) per week from 19th March 1917; this was increased to £1/2/11d (1 pound, 2 shillings and 11 pence) per week from 4th April 1917.

On 3rd March 1918 Martha re-married to William Jay, noted as "a civilian". She received a Re-Marriage Gratuity of £34/15/4d (34 pounds, 15 shillings and 4 pence) on 27th March. Her widow's pension would then cease, but the pension in respect of the 2 children would have contunued until their 16th birthdays.

Action resulting in his death

The 1/7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (1/7 Worcs) were one of the Reserve units for the First Day of the Somme and were not called into action. Their first action on the Somme was in their involvement in the capture of Ovillers on July 16th, and the subsequent move up the ridge towards Pozieres.

After a period of two weeks in Reserve, resting and training, on August 13th they took over front line trenches on the Ovillers Spur including the important Skyline Trench. On their right were the Australians attacking Mouquet Farm and on their left front were the ruins of Thiepval.

On August 20th, 1/7Worcs were ordered to shift left to a tangle of trenches and shell holes to the left of Skyline Trench. From here they were to attack northwards overnight on July 20th/21st. ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies fought throughout the night, ‘D’ Company relieving ‘A’ Company before dawn.

‘D’ Company immediately launched an attack before it was yet fully light, capturing the German trench in front of them. However, a German machine gun firing into their left flank made the captured ground untenable, and forced the 1/7 Worcs to fall back to their start position.

A total of 26 Other Ranks from 1/7 Worcs lost their lives on August 21st including Thomas Greenfield. Of the 26 men, 24 have no known grave and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Thomas is one of the 2 men with a known grave and is buried in Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension, this is because he was wounded and moved from the battlefield to a medical unit at Bouzincourt (probably a Field Ambulance) where he died.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Gazette 29th September 1916
Midlands Names in the Roll of Honour.
WORCESTERS. - Greenfield, 4015, T., (Tipton).