Very recently a picture of a Royal Engineers football team, pictured in France during 1916, was published within the pages of the Goole Times. The accompanying information mentioned that a man named Matthew Glaves, of Goole, was within the picture and that he, along with his four brothers served in the Army during the First World War.
Matthew’s brothers were Ernest, George, Wilfred and Ambrose – Matthew being the ‘middle’ one.
The following information has been extracted by Chris Laidler, from three Services Records that have survived the years since the ‘Great War’.
Matthew enlisted on 8th Dec 1915, being assigned to the Inland Waterways Transport, Royal Engineers, as No. 156928. Upon his attestation form he gives his home address as 16 Widop Street and that he was employed as a coal trimmer on the docks. Aged 26 years and 11 months he gives his next-of-kin as his wife, Mary Ann (nee Barlow) whom he married in April 1911, as well as naming his children – Annie Mary (b. June 1913) and Ambrose Leslie (b. Dec 1915 – days after he enlisted).
After his initial training he was ‘mobilised’ on 3rd April 1916 and posted to I.W.T., R.E. Ten days later he is appointed to the rank of Sapper. From 11th Aug Matthew was raised to the ‘Superior’ rate of ‘Engineer Pay’ meaning an extra 1s 8d per day; and from 11th Feb 1917 as ‘Very Superior’ and granted 2s. (This money would be in addition to his normal rate of pay of 1s 2d per day.)
Matthew left England for France on 10th May 1916, and arriving the next day he was immediately posted to his unit. On 6th June he was admitted to hospital – cause not recorded, rejoining his unit two weeks later.
At some point Matthew was granted leave to the UK, but he was to lose 14 days’ pay after overstaying his leave pass by 24 hours, reporting at 4pm on 18th October.
Matthew was admitted to 5th Stationary Hospital, St. Omer on 10th Nov 1917 suffering from severe appendicitis; permission for Mary Ann to visit him being refused. The date on which he left hospital is not entirely readable but during the latter half of Jan 1918. He was again admitted to hospital on two other separate occasions – 16th Dec for 8 days; and 2nd Aug 1919 for about ten days, neither the hospitals or the reasons for both admittances’ being recorded.
Sometime during 1918 he is allocated a new regimental number – 509309, and it is with this number he is discharged on 21st Sept 1919 at the RE Depot, Chatham. At a medical examination taken six days earlier he claims to be ‘not suffering from any disability due to my military service’.
Matthew gives his address on discharge as 31 Elsie Street; he is still there in July 1922 when his British War and Victory Medals are sent to him.
Ernest enlisted on the same day as Matthew, giving his home address as that of his father Tom – 3 Widop Street, whom he also names as his next-of-kin. Aged 33 years and 11 months he states his trade as ‘Seaman’.
Like his younger brother he too is assigned to I.W.T., R.E., as No. 149676. Mobilised on 27th Jan 1916 he is promoted to the rank of Sapper four days later. He left England on 9th March, joining his unit upon his arrival in France.
On 27th April he is appointed (and paid) as a Lance-Corporal; in mid-October 1917 he is appointed as Acting/2nd Cpl. In early 1918 he is assigned a new regimental number – 501905. In Oct 1918 Ernest is subsequently promoted to the rank of Corporal.
From 27th Aug 1918 Ernest is granted 14 days leave to the UK. About three months after his return to France he is admitted to hospital in mid-October; where he stays for nearly three weeks. After being discharged he is sent to 12th Command Depot, thence to ‘J’ Infantry Base Depot, from where he re-joins his unit on 17th Dec.
At some point during early 1919 Ernest is granted a further 14 day period of leave to the UK, being back in France before 23rd April when he is again admitted to hospital – no cause given; he is returned to the UK aboard the Ambulance Ship ‘Brighton’, arriving on 4th June.; being admitted at some point to Kitchener’s Military Hospital, Brighton.
Having served for 3 years 193 days Ernest is discharged from the Army on 7th Aug 1919. Upon discharge he is assessed as having 30% disability due to bronchitis, being ‘attributable to Service’ and a weekly pension of 9s was to be paid from 8th Aug, which was to be reviewed after 26 weeks.
Ernest states his intended residence as his former home in Widop Street; but by the time his medals are awarded in July 1922 he is living at 16 Marlboro’ Avenue.
On 11th Dec 1915, Wilfred enlisted, just like his brothers at Goole, and like them he is posted to Inland Waterways Transport, Royal Engineers, as No. 149715. He too gives his home address as 3 Widop Street, his age as 25 years 2 months and that he was employed as a (locomotive) cleaner. No date is given as to his eventual transfer to the Railway Company, R.E.
Wilfred was ‘mobilised’ on 31st Jan 1916, being appointed to the rank of Sapper that same day. On 20th March he is posted to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, embarking at Falmouth three days later; disembarking at Corfu on 14th April – departing on 1st May for Greece. Wilfred’ stay in Greece is brief being returned home from Salonika on 30th May.
Subsequently based at Sandwich Camp Wilfred is ‘admonished’ for overstaying his pass, having being recalled by telegram for leave to expire midnight Sunday 2 July, and being absent for 18 hours. Penalty imposed by 2 Lt RG Wright, OC B Coy being loss of pay for 2 days.
On 23rd Aug Wilfred is informed in Part II Orders that he is rated for ‘Engineer Pay’ of 2s per day, being payable from 28th. On 5th March 1917 Wilfred is admitted to hospital having had a football kicked in to his face and displacing his septum, being released to his unit seven days later.
Wilfred again leaves the UK on 29th June 1917, bound for France, arriving the following day. In early 1918 Wilfred is assigned a new regimental number – 501925.
After having a period of leave (to the UK) in March 1919, Wilfred seems to have spent some time away from his unit, rejoining 282 Railway Company R.E. on 26th May. On 3rd Sept he returns to the UK, being discharged on 4th October 1919, whereupon Wilfred gives his address 3 Widop Street.
Wilfred signs for his British War and Victory Medals on 6th July 1922, though no address is given.
Despite the good fortune that all five of the Glaves brothers' survived the War, due to the fact that a lot of records were lost during WW2, it has been unable at the time of writing to determine the units that George and Ambrose served with, but looking at the details of those that have survived it would appear that these two men’s records have been lost.