Thursday, June 26, 2008

Frederick William Grantham

The bad quality photo above is that of Captain Frederick William Grantham who was born in South Norwood, Surrey on 10 July 1870. He was the brother of William Wilson Grantham whose biography is included on the Chailey 1914-1918 website. I have not included the biographies of either Frederick or his son Hugo because they were more connected with Barcombe (just outside the Chailey parish boundaries) and Beeleigh in Essex. Nevertheless, both men made the ultimate sacrifice for their King and Country and deserve our remembrance, albeit in a blog entry.

The following information is taken from De Ruvigny’s roll of honour.

GRANTHAM, Capt. Frederick William 2nd Bn Royal Munster Fusiliers. Died 9th May 1915. Son of Sir William Grantham and Emma Grantham, of 100, Eton Square, S.W. and Barcombe Place, Sussex. Joined the volunteers while at Cambridge in 1890 and afterwards the Post Office Rifles in 1893 and the Munster Militia in 1899. Served in the South African War 1900 with the Imperial Yeomanry. Passed into the reserve of Officers 23rd January 1909 but when the European war began was immediately called up and joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers with the rank of Capt. 6th Aug. 1914. Went to the front in France 22nd Sept 1914 and was killed in action near Richebourg L'Avoue 9th May 1915 leading his men in attack on the German trenches early in the morning of that day. He was for three months reported wounded and missing but his body was found by a patrol in August. Panel 43 and 44. His son 2/Lt. Hugo Frederick Grantham also fell and is buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Turkey.

The panels referred to above are those on the Le Touret war memorial in France. Obviously, having been found once, Captain Grantham’s body (which we must presume was buried, having been found) was subsequently lost.

On 27th August 1915, The Essex Review wrote:

Captain Frederick William Grantham, Royal Munster Fusiliers, of Beeleigh Abbey, who has been killed in action, was the second son of the late Justice Grantham. Born in July 1870 he was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, and called to the bar in 1894, being subsequently appointed Clerk of Assize on the Oxford Circuit. He was a great traveller in the Far East and an authority on eastern philosophy. He received the King’s medal for his services in the South African war. On the outbreak of war he rejoined his regiment, the Royal Munster Fusiliers, with his old rank, and had been serving with it in Flanders since September. He was reported wounded and missing on May 9, and is now reported killed in action. His latest commission was dated August 6, 1914. The deceased officer’s eldest son, Lieutenant Hugo Frederick Grantham, fell in the Dardanelles on June 28 last.

The panel below, commemorating both men, was erected in All Saints church in Maldon in January 1917. Again, The Essex Review covered the event.

Maldon:- All Saints. A memorial tablet is erected in the church to the memory of Captain Frederick William Grantham 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers, killed near Richebourg L’AvouĂ© 9th May 1915 aged 45, and his elder son, Hugo Frederick Grantham 2/1st Essex Regiment, killed on the Gallipoli Peninsula 28th June 1915 aged 20.

Frederick’s name also appears on the Barcombe (Sussex) and Maldon (Essex) war memorials.


Clithering said...

Thank you for your post! For your information, his younger son, Sir Alexander William George Herder Grantham, was a famous colonial administrator and Governor of Hong Kong from 1947 to 1957.

Chailey said...

Thanks Clithering, I wasn't aware of that.