Edward Greatorex served overseas with both the 1st and 1/5th Battalions of the Sherwood Foresters. Edward was posted to the 1st Battalion with a draft of about 90 men on the 21st September 1916.
The 70000 series of Regimental Numbers were initially used to transfer men from the Territorial (Reserve) Battalions to the Regular and New Army Battalions of the Sherwood Foresters to make up for loses sustained in the Battle of the Somme.
This would suggest that Edward was possibly from the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire region. Indeed, Greatorex is a very uncommon name and only seven other men called Edwards Greatorex served with the British Army during WW1
On May 8th 1918 ‘A’ sent a postcard from Lincoln to Edward in Summerdown Camp in Eastbourne (from c/o Mrs Heaps of 17 Clarina Street in Lincoln).
Dear T. Had a tram ride today, the weather is a1 & quite warm…might go to Conisboro [sic] tomorrow as B4….A….hope you are a1.”
Summerdown Camp opened in April 1915 and was the first, and at the time the largest, of three purpose built convalescent camps designed for rehabilitation of the wounded from the First World War. Of the 150,000 injured and sick soldiers who passed into the camp, 80% were sent back to fight.
This postcard would suggest that Edward had been wounded in the trenches and was convalescing in England. It’s possible that this occurred between his service with the 1st and 1/5th Battalion. Edward was in hut 16 B Division with the Notts & Derby.
But who was Edward Greatorex, ‘A’ and Mrs Heaps?
The last question is the easiest to answer…….Lucy Heaps was the (second) wife of Charles William Heeps, a carpenter and joiner originally from Northamptonshire. They had one daughter Winifred Emma who was born in 1896.
A search of the 1911 Census for ‘Edward Greatorex’ with search terms ‘born in 1896 +/- 10 years’ and ‘Lincoln’ only identified a few plausible candidates.
Edward, born in 1893 in Derby who was blind.
Edward, born in 1892 in Wirskworth and was tape weaver.
Edward, born in 1900 in Nottingham, but would have only been 14 at the outbreak of War.
Despite no obvious link to Lincoln I can only assume that the card was sent to Edward Greatorex from Wirksworth.