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Andrew Marshall

Captain Leysters Llewellyn Greener M.C.

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Andrew Marshall

Hi All

Another request, during a visit to Bamouth, Wales I came across a memorial with the name Leysters Llewellyn Greener - he was a Captain in the 2/6th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment KIA 05.12.17 and his M.C. was gazetted 03.06.16

Does anyone have any further information on his service, when he won the M.C. details of his death?

Photographs or any details?

I have his MIC which shows he is entitled to the BWM/VM pair as well as the M.C. but funnily enough this also states that he entered a theatre of war 04.02.17 - but he was awarded his M.C. eight months earlier!

I know there is a history of the 2/6th Bn. written by J. J. Shannessy in 1929 and if anyone has a copy of this I would appreciate the details concerning Greener from it.

All in hope

Andrew

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Sniper
Hi All

Another request, during a visit to Bamouth, Wales I came across a memorial with the name Leysters Llewellyn Greener - he was a Captain in the 2/6th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment KIA 05.12.17 and his M.C. was gazetted 03.06.16

Does anyone have any further information on his service, when he won the M.C. details of his death?

Photographs or any details?

I have his MIC which shows he is entitled to the BWM/VM pair as well as the M.C. but funnily enough this also states that he entered a theatre of war 04.02.17 - but he was awarded his M.C. eight months earlier!

I know there is a history of the 2/6th Bn. written by J. J. Shannessy in 1929 and if anyone has a copy of this I would appreciate the details concerning Greener from it.

All in hope

Andrew

Andrew,

Captain Leyster Greener was the nephew of WW Greener, the Gunsmith and Rifle-maker of Birmingham.

I don't have details of his MC citation, but he acted as Sniping Officer to the 2/6th Battalion, using his own Ross .280 with a prismatic Zeiss telescopic sight.

His personal score was 54 and he was KIA whilst on patrol on 5th December 1917.

Regards,

Sniper

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Andrew Marshall

Sniper

Thanks for that, where did the information come from? I've checked the Battalion diaries for December and there is no mention of him by name.

Regards

Andrew

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Alan Tucker

Attended Oakfield Prep School, Binley Road, Rugby

War memorial - St Matthew's Rugby

Sutton Coldfield War memorial

Kia

SDGW says 1/6th but they were not involved at Cambrai where he is on the Louverval Memorial to the Missing.

Where exactly is the Barmouth memorial?

Below...Sutton Coldfield and Louverval (I was there last Saturday)

post-17223-1240328325.jpg

post-17223-1240328360.jpg

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Andrew Marshall

Alan

Thank you for those images, I was hoping he would be on a West Midlands memorial as his family came from Four Oaks and Erdington and it was his grandfather W. W. Greener who had a holiday home at Ty'r Graig just outside Barmouth town - which is in Gwynedd, West Wales coast.

I had found the connection to the Oakfield Prep school memorial in St Matthews - I wonder which college he attended and if there is roll of honour?

Does anyone have access to The Times obituaries?

Also do you know which local paper covers Sutton Coldfield and where I might be able to access the archive from?

When I get the image sorted from my camera I'll post a copy here from the Barmouth memorial - it gives the names and address of those who died.

Also, which unit did he win his M.C. with? The 2/6th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment didn't get to France until 21.05.16 and their first major action wasn't until the attack at Fromelles on the 19.07.17 (all from TLLT) - the London Gazette date for his M.C. is 03.06.16 - so even if it was for some act since landing I doubt if it would have been gazetted so soon - less than two weeks? And yet his MIC states that he didn't enter France until 04.02.17

LG entries show the following all with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment TF

Lieutenant 20.10.15

Awarded Military Cross 03.06.16

Temp. Captain 05.09.16

Captain 30.06.17

Regards

Andrew

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Alan Tucker

Andrew - I have now amassed quite a bit from the Times. Details to follow tonight.

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Alan Tucker

Back sooner than I expected.

Times...

15.7.1909

Pte L Greener shoots for Ashburton Shield(Public Schools) at Bisley

7.7.1910

Greener of Rugby did not drop a single shot at Bisley in the same competition

31.7.1911

L/Cpl Greener of Rugby shoots in the same competition at Bisley

28.6.1913

Re London Gazette 27.6.13 under Infantry. L.L.Greener (cadet corporal Rugby School OTC) to be 2nd Lt 5th and 6th Bn Royal Warwicks as from 22.3.13

20.7.1914

Bisley again - mentions Lt L L Greener 6/RWR under match rifle shooting.

2.10.1915

Lt L L Greener 6/RWR on list of wounded. (Note - this has to be 1/6th as 2nd 6th did not arrive until summer 1916.

14.12.17

Fallen Officers includes Captain Leysters Llewellyn Greener RWR, son of Charles Greener of Four Oaks and grandson of W.W.Greener, killed in action aged 24. Educated at Rugby where he was captain of the football fifteen and the shooting eight. He was also a member of the gymnasium team. He joined the TF about 18 months before the outbreak of war, receiving his commission in the 6th RWR in February 1913. He went to the front in the early days of the war (so Medal Card is wrong?) and while in the trenches lost his right eye through the explosion of a fuse. He was awarded the MC in June 1916. His colonel writes 'He was killed by a shell on the 5th inst. after setting an example of extraordinary gallantry for day after day....I should have done my utmost to get him the DSO if he had lived'. (could not be awarded posthumously). The chaplain says - 'I saw your son last Monday morning at Battalion HQ; he was most cheerful as he grappled with a very difficult situation; indeed the work which he had to do in the line before his death was enormously important. Everyone is speaking of his gallantry;.

2.10.19

Big feature on the Birmingham Gun Trade. ..Firm of W W Greener...he introduced the expanding principle as applied to bullets for muzzle-loading rifles. Also the modern system of choke boring. Also invented the treble wedge -fast bolts for gun breach fastening. Also other improvements in military and sporting rifles....The firm received a special award for perfectly bored and finished gun barrels at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Also award Turin exhibition in 1911.

LT COL J.J.SHANNESSY - HISTORY OF THE 2/6TH BN RWR 1914-1919. PUB 1929.

Won 13 MCs. Page 116 not on list of officers who went to France with the Bn. Approached the front for the first time 21.6.16 in the Laventie sector where they remained until 28.10.16.

Page 65-7...

Dec 1917 near La Vacquerie (Hindenburg Line, Cambrai battlefield). Dec 3rd Germans take the village. Dec 4th quiet.

Dec 5th Bn, especially C Coy, was engaged in heavy fighting all day. Bn occupying part of the old German trench system (i.e. captured 20.11.17 first day of Cambrai). Early in the morning bombing duels took place...enemy nearly gained our line only to be driven back again. 'Finally he did succeed in actually reaching the junction of Emden Trench and our front line, and it was here, while gallantly leading his men in the most desperate struggle of the day, that Captain L.L Greener MC was killed.

Has anyone got the Rugby School 'Book of Honour'?

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Andrew Marshall

Alan

That's more like it! I did wonder if he went to Rugby - should be a write up in the register...

Battalion diary from Dec 1917

Andrew

post-385-1240417865.jpg

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Andrew Marshall

So do we know if Captain Greener went out with the 1/6th Bn. to Le Havre 22nd March 1915 and therefore entitled to 1915 Star? Wonder why his MIC shows only a pair maybe another card?

Andrew

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Alan Tucker

There is a history of the 1/6th published 1922 which I do not have. 91pp

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Andrew Marshall

Thanks Alan....

and no online war diaries for 1/6th Bn either.....bad luck

National Archive

1/6th Bn WO95/2755

Service records W374/29042

Just have to wait until a visit...

Regards

Andrew

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Andrew Marshall

Photograph of the War Memorial at Barmouth

post-385-1240578399.jpg

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Andrew Marshall

Barmouth War Memorial

post-385-1240578629.jpg

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Alan Tucker

Nice pics Andrew

Thanks

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Andrew Marshall

Some further information from Captain Greener's service record which I now have a copy of.

He was serving with the 1/6th Bn. R.W.R. but it doesn't state whether he went to France with them on 22.03.15 - although the Times article states that he served in the trenches from early on in the war.

His wound was received during grenade throwing practice, when a detonator exploded in his hand - he left the 1/6th Bn. on the 24.09.15 but did not get sent to England until 20.10.15 almost a month later, so I presume he spent time in a Field Hospital somewhere in France? He eventually lost the sight of his right eye.

Now the odd part?

He was still in England and wasn't passed fit by the medical board for general service until 27.09.16

There seems to be long time between being at the front (last date 24.09.15) and his M.C. being gazetted 03.06.16 - a minimum of eight months between the date that he could have won his M.C. and the gazette date. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why it would take so long?

Regards

Andrew

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Terry Carter

June 14 1915, plug Street trenches. Germans blew a mine near our front line trench. The next night 2nd Lt Greener took a party to the lip of the crater and kept Germans at bay whilst a trench was dug from our front lines to the crater. Greener was awarded the MC the first for the Division. My Uncle's father Sgt Albert Jobe 1202 was awarded the DCM for the same action.

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HistoryDoug

Could Captain L L Greener be the W. Greener on the Moseley Rugby Club Memorial? There is no W. Greener who fits and knowing that mistakes can be made on memorials, and I have already found one on this memorial, so they could have mistaken 2 ls for a w? Or he could have been known as Welyn? Any thoughts>

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Stoppage Drill

Leysters Llewellyn Greener was a member of the famous Birmingham gun making family, the son of Charles Edward Greener.

He was a keen shot, and established a reputation as a sniper, using a .280 Ross rifle. Apparently he had 54 Germans in his Game Book.

Wounded in 1915, losing an eye.

Awarded MC in 1915 and killed 5 December 1917 at La Vacquerie during the German counter attacks to retake ground lost around Cambrai.

His Ross was recovered and returned to his family with other effects.

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HistoryDoug

Thank you Major-General,

I am going to investigate his family to see if I can turn up a Moseley connection and will post if I find anything.

Doug

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HistoryDoug

I've finally got through looking at the Moseley records in the papers but can find no reference to him playing but that doesn't mean he didn't and it's likely that with John Chamberlain, as an Old Rugbeian connected with the club I can't see him not playing.  On the memorial there is a W. Greener but the only one that is possible is a sapper and doesn't fit the profile.  Also the Moseley Memorial has several inaccuracies and so I'm happy to claim him, and also V. J. Austin, and also (E) K. L. Brown.

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Andrew Marshall

I've found this old post and thought I would update the information that I have - thanks to Alan Tucker for lots of the information and the Greener family
   


The Greener family, in the guise of master gunmaker William Wellington Greener and his wife Emma, came to Barmouth and built Ty’r Graig. William’s company, W.W. Greener Company, was based in Birmingham and it was here that his second son Charles Edward Greener was born in 1867. When Charles reached adulthood he married Harriet Hutton Lort on the 3rd June 1890 and together they raised their own family in the Sutton Coldfield area of Warwickshire with Charles carrying on the family tradition of gunmaker.

 

 Leysters Llewellyn Greener was the second son born 11th April 1893 having an older brother Charles and two younger sisters Chloris and Catherine. Details from the 1901 census show the family lived at The Cedars, Grange Lane, Erdington. The young Leysters attended Oakfield School a private preparatory school on Bilton Road, Rugby and from here he passed the examination for Rugby School where he soon joined the Officer Training Corps (O.T.C.) as well as becoming the captain of the Ruby team and of the shooting eight and a member of the gymnastics team. Hardly surprising considering his family background he would become a very skilled marksman shooting for his school in competitions at Bisley where they would win the Ashburton Shield.

 

His military career advanced when he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 1/6th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (a Territorial Force Regiment) in March of 1913. On the outbreak of war in August 1914  2nd  Lt. Greener was mobilised and spent several months with his Battalion getting kitted out and training for active service before being posted overseas to France and Belgium on 22nd March 1915.

 

In September 1915 2nd Lt. Greener was wounded during grenade practice when a fuse he was examining with a fellow officer exploded and injured his right eye which he subsequently lost the sight from. He returned to England for hospital treatment and was only passed fit for general service again in September 1916.

During his stay in England Lieutenant Greener was presented with a gallantry award, the Military Cross, by  King George V at Buckingham Palace. This was gazetted on 3rd June 1916 and was awarded for:

“particularly efficient work under exacting conditions. His company was located on a part of the front fighting line where the Allies front turned at an acute angle and the enemies’ front line approached them at a curve which caved into the Allies front. Each side was trying to spring a mine on the other, and, as luck would have it, the enemies mine was sprung first. It created a huge crater and Lieutenant Greener, with a sergeant and two or three men, was sent over the parapet and across no man’s land to try and hold the crater until his company could dig a communication trench and send out further supplies of men and munitions. He succeeded in his task not by a brilliant dare-devil dash, but by cool carefully calculated measures – measures that at once marked him out as a capable officer. He held onto the far side of the crater, which was within about 60 yards of the enemy, in the face of hot machine gun and rifle fire. It was a very gallant action, and as efficiently organised s it was brave.”

Sutton Coldfield News 10th June 1916

Promoted to Temporary Captain 5th September 1916 he joined the 2/6th Battalion R.W.R. and later on was advanced to Captain on 30th June 1917. The 2/6th Bn. saw action during March 1917 when the Germans retreated from areas of the Somme after the great battles during 1916 and the British moved forward to occupy the old German trenches. The problems that this created were that the enemy knew exactly the position and condition of these newly occupied trenches and therefore could accurately target their artillery fire to maximum effect; they had also constructed superior trenches which they now occupied.

 

After fighting on this front the 2/6th Bn. R.W.R. which was in the 61st Division, was transferred to the Belgium sector around Ypres where they were involved in the hellish fighting conditions of the Third Battle of Ypres also better known as Passchendaele.

 

Another transfer saw the 61st Division sent back to France for the Battle of Cambrai which on 20th November 1917  had seen the first ever use of massed tanks in an attack that made huge gains and success but all of these were soon lost in the intense and effective counter-attack delivered by the Germans on the 30th November 1917. The 2/6th Bn. were posted to the area around La Vacquerie to reinforce units under attack and were involved in very hard fighting for several days.

Captain Leysters Llewellyn Greener M.C. was killed in action 5th December 1917 and is commemorated on panel 3 of the Cambrai Memorial to the missing, his body was never recovered; he was 24 years old.

 

“History of the 2/6th Bn R.W.R. 1914 – 1919  Lt Col J.J. Shannessy”  Published 1929

Pages 65-7...
 

Dec 1917

Near La Vacquerie (Hindenburg Line, Cambrai battlefield).

 

Dec 3rd

Germans take the village.

 

Dec 4th

Quiet.
 

Dec 5th

Battalion, especially C Coy, was engaged in heavy fighting all day. Bn occupying part of the old German trench system (i.e. captured 20.11.17 first day of Cambrai). Early in the morning bombing duels took place...enemy nearly gained our line only to be driven back again. 'Finally he did succeed in actually reaching the junction of Emden Trench and our front line, and it was here, while gallantly leading his men in the most desperate struggle of the day, that Captain L.L Greener MC was killed.

 

“The Times” 14th December 1917

 

His colonel writes 'He was killed by a shell on the 5th inst. after setting an example of extraordinary gallantry for day after day....I should have done my utmost to get him the DSO if he had lived'. The chaplain says - 'I saw your son last Monday morning at Battalion HQ; he was most cheerful as he grappled with a very difficult situation; indeed the work which he had to do in the line before his death was enormously important. Everyone is speaking of his gallantry;

 

Captain Greener M.C. is commemorated on several War Memorials:

 

·         Cambrai War Memorial, Louverval

 

·         Brass War Memorial Tablet St Matthews Church, Warwick Street, Rugby

 

·         Sutton Coldfield War Memorial

 

·         Barmouth War Memorial

 

 

 

 

 

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Andrew Marshall

Captain Leysters Llewellyn Greener M.C.
 

Captain Lleyster Llewellyn Greener M.C..png

Rugby School shooting eight - Leysters is top left

Rugby School shooting eight Leysters is top left.png

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