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McGreevy 1Richard McGreevy was born in Preston in 1892 to Michael and Jane Ann McGreevy (nee Gradwell). Richard was one of five surviving siblings, the others being; Albert (1886), Isabella (1889), Ann (1894) and Mary Ann (1898). Richard was the couples` second son to bear the name of Richard, the first one was born in 1887 but sadly he died the same year.

Michael McGreevy was an overlooker in a cotton mill in 1901 and his wife Jane was a winder. Their eldest son Albert was also a mill worker while Richard and his two younger sisters Ann and Mary Ann were all attending school. Richard`s maternal grandfather John Gradwell a market gardener was also lodging with the family in 1901. The family residence at this time was 214 Fletcher Road in Preston.

In about 1908 Michael McGreevy took over the running of the Station Tavern located at number 1 Fletcher Road. As the name suggests the tavern was adjacent to a railway station and it was on the line that linked Longridge with Preston at that time.

The family was still at the Station Tavern in 1911 and Richard was now working as a fish, fruit and rabbit salesman. His father is described as a beer seller and his two youngest sisters were both weavers. The two eldest siblings Albert and Isabella had both recently married, Albert to Ellen Bradley in 1909 and Isabella to Albert Robinson in 1910. Isabella was also living at the Station Tavern with her parents while her husband Albert was lodging with his brother a few miles away in Darwen working as a pattern book maker for a wallpaper manufacturer.

At some point after 1911 the family left the Station Tavern and moved to 184 Fletcher Road and this is the address that Richard gave at his enlistment on the 11th December 1915. He had been working as an iron broker for his father prior to joining up. He also declared that he had previous military experience with the Militia (Lancashire Field Artillery) and that his preference would be to join the Army Service Corps. Richard was posted to the Reserve and wasn`t mobilised until the 24th March 1916. Unfortunately his desire to join the A.S.C. did not materialise and the following day he was posted to the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the service number 5250 which would later become 202345.

Richard sailed from Folkestone to France on the 8th December 1916 with a batch of reinforcements and by the 3rd January 1917 he had joined the 1/4th Battalion in the field. However, his stay was short-lived because two months later on the 3rd March he reported sick with what was thought to be bronchitis. He was admitted to 17 Stationery Hospital in Wimereux  and his papers note that he was suffering from pyrexia (fever) of unknown origin (P.U.O.) later thought to be trench fever. Richard was sent back to England via the Hospital Ship `SS St. Patrick` and then admitted to the 3rd Western General Hospital in Newport, Monmouthshire where he remained until the 1st May 1917.

Richard returned to France on the 9th August 1917 and was posted to the 2/4th Battalion joining them in the field on the 30th August. He had only been with the Battalion for twelve days when he was appointed Lance Corporal (unpaid) which was quite an achievement considering his lack of front line experience.

Sadly, Richard was killed a few weeks later on the 26th October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres when the 2/4th Battalion was involved in a further attempt to capture the village of Passchendaele.

The report of his death appeared a few weeks later in the Preston Guardian.McGreevy 2

Sadly, Richard was one of the many men whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefield and so his name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. His name is also remembered on the Roll of Honour in the Harris Museum and Library in Preston.

Richard`s service entitled him to the British War and Victory Medals which his parents later signed for.

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 202345
Date of Death: 26/10/1917
Age: 25
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.

Janet Davis
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