Herbert Grainger
Herbert Grainger RAMC WW1

Herbert Grainger
1891 – 1960

Herbert Grainger was born in Topcliffe, Yorkshire, son of Tom and Jane Grainger.  Herbert’s father, Tom, was a shoemaker as were his ancestors, who were from Sowerby near Thirsk, and Thormanby.   Tom brought his family to Shildon when Herbert was about seven years old in order to have better employment prospects.  In 1901 the family lived at 28, Princes Street and in 1911 were at 13, Princes Street.

Herbert Grainger was working at N E R Works at Shildon as a Hammer Driver in the 1911 census.  Herbert had joined the T. A. in 1908, the year the T. A. was formed.  He served for four years in the R A M C in the 2nd Northumbrian Field Ambulance.

When WW1 broke out Herbert re-enlisted in the 2nd Northumbrian Field Ambulance, R A M C.  In his service records it states he was an electric welder when enlisted September 18, 1914, age 22 years 11 months.  He was 5 ft 8 ins.

Herbert Grainger RAMC camp

Herbert Grainger standing left in the photograph above, and second left on the back row in the photograph below.  It is not known when these photographs were taken


Herbert Grainger RAMC group

Herbert Grainger RAMC small group

Herbert Grainger standing on the left


Throughout WW1 Herbert corresponded with his fiancée, Alice Leafe of Kirk Deighton, who was working at Bilton Vicarage with his sister Ada Grainger, and Alice's sister Annie Leafe. Many postcards were sent.
Ostende postcard 1915

Ostende postcard 1915 reverse

Postcard of Ostende sent by Herbert to Annie Leafe August 6, 1915

Ypres 1915

Ypres 1915 reverse

Herbert sent this postcard of a town near Ypres to Alice Leafe two days later on August 8, 1915.  He expected she was looking forward to her holidays.


Ypres 1915

Ypres 1915

Wednesday, August 23, 1915 Herbert sent this postcard of Ypres to his mother, Jane Grainger.

Ypres bombardment reverse

September 1, 1915 Herbert thanks Annie Leafe for sending him writing paper.  He was glad to hear the weather was good for the harvest, and hoped Annie had had a good time at Harrogate.


Ypres belfry after bombardment 1915

Private Herbert Grainger, 388209, was sent to France January 18, 1915 as a stretcher bearer.  He served in Ypres in Belgium, Egypt and Salonika.  He had suffered from influenza, enteritis and in Salonika became very ill with malaria.  He was sent to Malta July 21, 1916 and then to hospital in England October 22, 1916.

Herbert Grainger in hospital in Blackpool 1916 - 1917

Herbert in hospital.  He is in the back row on the left.

Blackpool 1916

October 1916 Herbert Grainger is third on left of the back row.

Below Herbert is again on the left of the back row.  This was taken while recuperating in Blackpool and is dated April 17, 1917

Herbert Grainger 1917

By August 4, 1917 Herbert Grainger was fit enough to go back to France and embarked at Folkestone.  By August 6, 1917, he had joined the Cyclist Base at Rouen and was posted to the 11 Stationary Hospital August 11, 1917. 

November 1917 Herbert was in the field, and then returned to Rouen.  May 1918 he was in the field again, posted back to the 2/2 Northumbrian Field Ambulance.  It was while he was serving in the field that Herbert rescued an officer and was awarded the Military Medal.  This did not appear in the London Gazette until October 21, 1918.

Herbert Grainger was disembodied April 11, 1919.

Herbert Grainger and Alice Leafe were married June 9, 1919 at Kirk Deighton, Yorkshire.

Herbert Grainger is the grandfather of David Ellis of Newton Aycliffe.