The Military Records of Edward Groves & siblings



This is a collection of the Military Records of members of the Groves family, including Edward Groves, sourced online.


Edward Groves

This first of this set of documents shows Edward Groves's enlistment into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in May, 1894. He cites his home address a333s "62 Neal Street, London", which is the family address that appears on an 1891 census record. Then in October, 1894, the regiment is sent to Manchester but Edward Groves finds the duties tough and decides to desert on 5th March, 1895 in order to join the Royal Scots Fusiliers regiment in Aldershot.

Having deserted the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Manchester on 5th March, 1895, Edward Groves travels south to Aldershot, with the specific intention of joining the Royal Scots Fusiliers regiment. The first of this set of documents confirms his fraudulent enlistment on 11th March, 1895.















Alfred Groves

By examining each set of records, we can piece together an overall story and learn much of the life and character of Alfred Groves.

[Images 8153 to 8156]


Alfred Groves, younger brother to Edward Groves, was born in St Giles, Middlesex, in 1878, son to Thomas John Groves and Margaret Curley. He enlisted with the (Duke of Wellington) West Riding Regiment on 25th October, 1895. The regimental number as it appears on the document is 4907, his occupation specified as labourer and religious denomination listed as Church of England. His height is given as 5 feet 4 inches. He cites his mother as Margaret Groves, with home address as 62 Neal Street, St Giles, Middlesex, the same address as appears on the 1891 census record for the family. His elder brother, Edward Groves, is mentioned as having enlisted with the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He is transferred to Army Reserve on 8th December 1904 and is discharged on 24th October 1907.


[Images 8116 to 8126]


On 11th August 1914 he enlists with the Rifle Brigade at Woolwich, stating that he was previously with the West Riding Regiment for 8 years however he does not serve in this unit for long. His discharge due to misconduct whilst stationed at Aldershot and Blackdown (which preceded Deepcut Barracks near Camberley, Surrey) is approved on 9th November 1914, the period of service running from 11-08-1914 to 02-11-1914, amounting to a total of 84 days.

His wife is named as Ellen Smith, address given as 7 Peabody Buildings, Stamford Street, Blackfriars and the date of marriage listed as 19th April, 1905. The dates of birth of 3 children are listed, all born in Lambeth: Ellen Marie, born 22nd July 1906; Maud Evelyn, born 11th June 1912; Kathleen, born 1st April 1914. In what might be a later entry on the same page, his wife is named as Ellen "Rose" (at the same residential address) - this may potentially be a misspelling of "Groves". His height is given as 5 feet 4 inches and various tattoos are described in detail.
The page providing his medical history also refers to the misconduct discharge from the 11th Battalion Rifle Brigade on 2nd November 1914, despite the fact that he is still deemed “medically fit”. His regimental number appears on this page as 1338.

His Company Conduct sheet makes for interesting reading.

  • 4th September 1914 – Aldershot – Committing a nuisance out side coffee bar about 8:40 p.m. – Rank reverted from Lance Corporal to Private Rifleman as punishment.
  • 5th September 1914 – Aldershot – Wilfully damaging government property i.e. breaking 3 windows – 14 days detention, paid for damage.
  • 20th September 1914 – Blackdown – Insolence to an N.C.O. – 96 hours detention.
  • 29th September 1914 – Blackdown – Volunteering for the Guardroom – Forfeits 5 days pay as punishment.
  • 30th September 1914 – Blackdown – Absent from C.O.’s parade 11:15 a.m. until found in canteen at 8:30 p.m., Insolence to an N.C.O., damaging government property while confined in Guardroom – 21 days field punishment no 2, paid for damage.
  • 24th October 1914 – Blackdown – Absent from Tattoo till 9 p.m. 26th October 1914 - 7 days field punishment no 2.
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8116
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8117
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8118
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8119
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8120
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8121
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8122
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8123
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8124
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8125
UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 for Alfred Groves - Image8126

[Images 8149 to 8150, 8146 to 8148]


In separate documents, his record indicates that he enlists with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Holborn on 4th November, 1914, regimental number 503177, occupation specified as valet. The exact date of his discharge from his first unit, the West Riding Regiment, is cited. Place of residence is given as 7 Peabody Buildings, Stamford Street, Blackfriars. His height is given as 5 feet 4 inches and he bears a number of tattoos. His wife is named as Ellen Groves and the date of marriage and dates of birth of 3 children are again listed. He experiences a somewhat meteoric rise during this period of his service between 4th November 1914 and 27th March 1915 and appears ultimately to have been appointed as a Class II Warrant Officer. By December 1917, he has been “absorbed” into the role of Company Sergeant-Major and is transferred to the Labour Corps on 11th December 1917.


Based on the facts, certain interpretations might be made at this point. Having served in the West Riding Regiment for a period of 8 years until 1904, the resumption of his military career in 1914 with the Rifle Brigade is clearly not a happy one. It seems plausible that he experienced frustration with his role in the regiment and lack of recognition for his previous service with the West Riding Regiment, possibly accounting for a series of misconduct charges, until he is finally discharged. Within a matter of days in early November 1914, he enlists with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (without mentioning the Rifle Brigade) and within a matter of months experiences a huge transformation that sees him rising to the rank of Company Sergeant-Major, before joining the Labour Corps.


[Images 8151 to 8152]

A Disablement Pension Award Sheet dated week ending 10th July 1918 indicate a request for discharge from the Labour Corps received 21st June 1918 and discharge date given as 8th July 1918. He is deemed physically unfit and the reason for the discharge is stated as aneurysm of the aorta, the probable cause of which is stated. The names of the children are again specified however Kathleen appears to have died on 14th December 1914, whilst another, Gwendoline, was born 3rd June 1916. The document also states that his pension expires on 8th April 1919 – this may be an indication of a date of impending death.


[Image 8143 to 8145]


This document links his Labour Corps regimental number 503177 and his West Riding regimental number 4907 and date of discharge from the latter regiment in 1907. A medical report on an invalid stamped 18th June 1918 confirms his disability as “aneurysm of the aorta”, date and place of origin of disability unknown. The medical opinion as to the cause of the disability states that it was “possibly aggravated by service during the present war”. The medical report confirms that he has a positive Wasserman test result, confirming his affliction. The medical board recommend that he be “discharged as permanently unfit”. In their opinion, his degree of disability for which he is assessed for pension purposes is given as 60%.


[Image 8157 to 8158]


A document stamped 19th June 1918 indicates a discharge from the Labour Corps as Company Sergeant-Major, regimental number 503177. His military character is described as "very good". Furthermore, he described as “honest, sober, reliable, intelligent, a good disciplinarian”. His intended place of residence is given as 7 Peabody Buildings, Stamford Street, Blackfriars.


One can only surmise as to the impact of the illness and disability, not just on the personal physical and mental health and well-being of Alfred Groves but also on that of his wife and family, leading to his assumed death on or soon after 8th April 1919. It is interesting to note that Edward Groves states in his memoirs, after his return from the war front in Belgium and France during WWI, having sustained an injury, that “Alf was away with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and was killed before I could meet him.” Was the reality of his brother Alfred’s condition hidden from Edward or was the shame within the family too great to bear and therefore concealed. We shall never know.

Andrew Groves

The set of documents below indicate that Andrew Groves, younger brother of Edward Groves, my grandfather, joined the military much later than Edward and Alfred. He enlisted in June 1916 and cites his address as "188 Walworth Road, London", where he lived with his wife Louisa (born King) after they married in Cranbrook (near Goudhurst) on 30th June, 1911.His demobilisation certificate is issued on 25th May, 1919.


 [Genealogy - index]



[Groves Genealogy researched]

[Birthplace of Edward Archibald Groves (father)]

[Lesbury - a Groves connection]

[The memoirs of Ed Groves (grandfather) - The first chapter]

[The memoirs of Ed Groves - A chronology of events]

[The memoirs of Ed Groves - First World War & The Retreat from Mons]

 [Ed Groves - related Alnwick Newspaper extracts of 1916]

[Ed Groves - related Alnwick Camp photographs]


[Ed Groves - Military Records]



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