66747 PTE. E. GREGSON. R.F.A.
Edward Gregson was born in Farington in the first quarter of 1886 and baptised at Leyland St Ambrose on 5 March that year. His father was William Gregson (b. 1862 in Euxton), a press operator in the rubber works. His mother was Alice Ann Cross (b. 1864 in Leyland). William and Alice were married in 1885. Edward was their first child and he had a brother Tom (b. 1889). Alice died in 1897. In 1909, Edward married Elizabeth Worthington (b. 1886 in Chorley) and in 1911, the couple were living at 17 Fairfield Street, Lostock Hall. Edward was a spinner and Elizabeth was a weaver.
Edward signed up soon after War was declared. He served in the Royal Field Artillery, as a Driver, and was assigned service number 66747. From his Medal Index Card we know that he was posted to France on 9 August 1915, but I don’t know which Brigade he served in, or where he fought. But we know that when he died he was with B Instructional Battery, which was based at Larkhill, on Salisbury Plain. He died at Fargo Military Hospital, Larkhill, on 9 March 1918. He had just turned 32.
Service No: 66747
Date of Death: 09/03/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, "B" Instructional Bty.
Grave Reference: 672 North of Church tower.
Cemetery: FARINGTON (ST. PAUL) CHURCHYARD
Additional Information: Son of William and Alice Ann Gregson; husband of Elizabeth Gregson, of 89 Watkin Lane, Lostock Hall, Preston.
Edward’s brother Tom also served in the Army. He enlisted at the outbreak of War, on 3 September 1914, along with a significant number of other men from Lostock Hall who all joined the Scots Guards. He was assigned service number 10100 and posted to 2nd Battalion and landed with them in France on 16 February 1915. Tom was wounded in action at Neuve Chappelle on 12 March 1915 – he suffered gunshot wounds to his left shoulder and his eyes were damaged by shell fire. Tom made it back to England where he was in hospital and then in Reserve. Whilst at home, he got married: in October 1916 he married Sarah Ann Waterhouse (b. 1891 in Walton Le Dale). But on 9 June 1917 he rejoined 2Bn in the field. In 1917, the Guards Division fought through the Third Battle of Ypres (Pilkem, Menin Road, Poelcappelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele) and also at Cambrai. Tom remained with them until 29 January 1918 when he was diagnosed with PUO (pyrexia (or fever) of unknown origin). After another spell in hospital at 3 Field Ambulance he was sent back to England on 24 February 1918. He was posted first to Command Depot and then to Reserve. He was finally demobilised on 15 January 1919.