Rank and Unit at End of World War One
Service Number 168533
Regiment Royal Army Medical Corps
Trade or Occupation pre-war:
* Taken from attestation papers or 1911 census
Charles Hewitt Groves was born in 1900, the son of Charles William Groves and his wife, Hannah Maria Groves (nee Hewitt). Charles' place of birth is given as either Collingham or Sicklinghall, but in 1911 he is living in Collingham with his father (an insurance agent - see separate entry), mother and brothers, Harold and Arthur.
Upon reaching the age of 18, in 1918, Charles became eligible for service and he attested for service around the 7th July 1918 and was mobilised on the 1st August 1918. He first joined the West Yorkshire Regiment. Charles' service as Private 16853 Groves from 7th August 1918 until the 27th March 1919 was in the UK. After the war had ended, Charles went overseas, initially to France, with the West Yorkshire Regiment, but on the 10th July 1919 he was transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps. Part of this time was with the Rhine Army and in March 1920 he was in Cologne. On the 10th March 1920 Charles returned to the UK prior to demobilisation on the 7th April 1920.
After the war
After the war, Charles returned to the area and on the 11th April 1931 he married Mona Shore in Collingham Church.
A newspaper report reveals some of the circumstances of Charles Hewitt Groves' death in 1963:
Collingham man killed in crash
A 62-year-old Collingham man, Charles Hewitt Groves, of Garth End, was killed in an accident at Hook Moor cross-roads on Saturday, when the three-wheeler car in which he was a passenger, was in collision with a lorry.
With him in the car was his wife, Mrs Mona Groves, who escaped with slight injuries. They were going from Collingham to the home of the driver, John Templeton, of Church Crescent, Swillington. He sustained serious injuries and was taken to St. James's Hospital, Leeds.
The driver of the lorry, Thomas Robert Clough, of Newcastle, escaped injury. He was travelling towards Aberford from the direction of the new by-pass.
An inquest on Mr Groves, who was an audit clerk, was opened at Garforth Police Station on Monday and adjourned to January 24.
An obituary in the Collingham Parish Newsletter in January 1963 gives some more details of Charles' life after the Great War in Collingham:
Collingham Parish Magazine Jan 1963
The news of the tragic death of Mr Charles Hewitt Groves, as the result of a road accident, came as a shock to us all. Mr. Groves was a man of sterling worth, beloved and respected by all who knew him. His family had resided in Collingham for several generations and although his parents were living elsewhere at the time of his birth, they returned to Collingham when he was still a very small child. He resided in Collingham ever since. A quiet, unassuming man, he nonetheless took a full share in the life of the village. He had been a member of the local branch of the British Legion since its formation some twenty-five years ago. For some time he had been a valuable member of the Parish Council and latterly had served on the Orchard Garden Committee, besides being connected with other village affairs.
A convinced Churchman, he had been a member of the Parochial Church Council for a number of years and was elected by the Annual Vestry Meeting to the office of People's Warden about four or five years ago. In this capacity he rendered splendid service to the Church. His contributions to the debates at Church Council and other Church meetings were always valuable and to the point. In all his Church work I found him utterly reliable in everything which he undertook. Sincerity was the keynote of his life, and a true faith in Jesus Christ was the mainspring of his sincerity.
He will be sadly missed from our midst, but we may rejoice in the fact that he has entered into the Divine Presence of the Master he served so faithfully. As we pray for the repose of his soul let us also pray that the Holy Spirit of God may comfort his widow and son, and that his widow may make a quick recovery from the injuries she received in this terrible accident.
If I may be allowed to pay a personal tribute to him, I would say that in all my contacts with him I found him to be a gentleman in the true sense of the word. Gentle but always firmly quiet and retiring but always ready to play his part to the full, loyal to his friends, his life was a final witness of what the Christian life really means. His memory will remain with us all as an example of true discipleship.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 25962
First World War British Army Service Records. The National Archives (WO363).
First World War British Army Pension Records. The National Archives (WO364).