Service Number SE/21621
Regiment Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Charles William Groves was born in 1876 in Collingham, the son of a farmer, Charles Groves (Snr) and his wife, Sarah A. Groves. In 1881, and again in 1891, the family were living at Beck House, in Back Street, Collingham, but by 1901, they were living in Sicklinghall.
On the 3rd May 1898, Charles William Graves married Hannah Maria Hewitt, in St.Oswald's Church, Collingham and they had three children - Charles Hewitt Groves (born in 1900 - see separate entry), Harold (born 1901) and Arthur (born 1910). In 1911, Charles William was living again in Collingham with his family. In those last few years, Charles William and his wife must have had some trauma, as they had had 5 children, but only three were still living in 1911.
On outbreak of war, Charles William Groves was aged 38 and perhaps thought that he would be too old for service, however as British losses mounted and conscription started, Charles became eligible for service. Once called up, men were allowed to appeal against their call up if they felt they were in an occupation that was imprtant for the national interest, and Charles, as a farmer, was in that position. In 1917, therefore, he appealed against his call up and we find a report in the Wetherby News: -
Charles William Groves was therefore exempt from military service, for the time, but manpower was in short supply and the country was looking to make sure that all who could serve, were called up.
On November 2nd 1917, the Wetherby News updated its readers about Charles' case at the Tribunal:
We believe that, at some stage after that, Charles William Groves was called up for service. His medal roll entry shows that he was first in the 10th Battalion West Riding Regiment as Private 25957 Groves, but perhaps due to his farming experience and skills, he later transferred to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps with the service number SE/21621.
Charles William Groves died in Otley on the 16th July 1960.
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