Marie Wallin’s Grandad
To commemorate the centenary of the start of WWI, I thought I would tell you about my grandfather, Ellis Greenhalgh.
Grandad was, like many others, an ordinary man who did his duty and fought in WWI, but to me and my family he was a hero. Unfortunately I never really knew him as he died when I was a little girl and I only have a few fond memories of him.
Ellis joined the 9th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment when war broke out in 1914. A year later he managed to get 72 hours leave to marry my grandmother, Hannah on the 15th May 1915.
Ellis served as an acting Quartermaster Sergeant in the 25th Division. He wrote many postcards and letters to my grandmother during the war but never described the horrors of what he must have experienced. See Hannah Greenhalghs Album.
In March 1918, his division was wiped out but he was lucky and escaped with only a light wound. In April it was wiped out again at Armentiers but was re-formed again. In May it was wiped out again at the Battle of the Marne but this time Ellis was shot through the jaw. After that the division was disbanded and Ellis and a few other survivors were transferred to the 1st Fifth Loyals.
My grandad was demobbed in 1919 and went back to his job as a spinner at one of the many cotton mills in Bolton, he retired when he was 70! See Demobilisation and Discharge Procedure.
I can’t begin to imagine what he witnessed during the war and he never spoke of what he saw. He was a very brave man, one amongst the many who I thank for the freedom and relative safety we all now enjoy in our everyday lives.
Thank you Grandad, God bless and we’ll never forget.
|The original exhibition display: Ellis Greenhalgh|