Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

It's not clear what brought the Greenwood family to Portsmouth from their home ground in the Oxford/Reading area but the censuses tell us that it didn't happen until the 1890s.
William Ernest's father Cecil Walton Greenwood was born in Oxfordshire in 1863 and married Ann Burgess in the third quarter of 1884 at Bradfield, Berkshire. He seems to have worked as a salesman for most of his life so perhaps that is what brought him and Ann to Portsmouth. They already had one son, George (b. 1886), by the time they made the move but their second, William Ernest was not born until 1895. The family settled into 20 Winstanley Road, Stamshaw but by the 1911 census had moved a few doors down to no. 16.
At that last census before the outbreak of the Great War William Ernest was described as a Grocer's Assistant but at some point in the next few years he found a job as a conductor for Portsmouth Corporation Tramways. Although he would have been old enough to enlist in the army in August 1914 it wasn't until the following June that he did so. His unit were held back until May 1916 when they were sent to the Western Front where they saw heavy fighting.
William Ernest was wounded at Messines in September 1916 and must have been sent back to England because in 1917 he married Gertrude Vyvian Hyom, a dressmaker living at 62 Widley Road. After recovering from his injuries he returned to France where he continued to serve until September 1918 when he fell fighting at Ypres.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Lance Corporal William Ernest Greenwood, (18023), 15th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died on 04/09/1918. Buried in the Voormezeele Enclosure No.3.
William Greenwood is also remembered on the City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department WW1 Memorial and the Cenotaph in Portsmouth. He has a listing in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X, p305, which gives his rank as Sergeant.
Tim Backhouse
March 2014