Elmore Green - Ron Grimsley presents his uncle's medals to Jane Humphreys.

Elmore Green hero’s Great War medals presented to school

Elmore Green - Ron Grimsley presents his uncle's medals to Jane Humphreys.

The very special occasion of Elmore Green Primary School’s annual service of remembrance was made even more poignant and significant on Friday by the surprise donation of a set of Great War medals to the historic Bloxwich school.

The medals, comprising two campaign medals plus the bronze ‘Dead Man’s Penny’ traditionally given to the families of servicemen killed in the First World War of 1914-1918 were awarded posthumously to Elmore Green School ‘old boy’ Lance Corporal William Ernest Grimsley, late of the 4th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment.

Lance Corporal Grimsley, who was killed during fighting in Belgium on 10th April 1918, is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial, at Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium, as well as on the Elmore Green School Great War Memorial which was returned to the school last year after spending decades at T.P. Riley Comprehensive School followed by several years at a mason’s yard after the demolition of that school.

Lance Corporal Grimsley's inscription on the school memorial.
Lance Corporal Grimsley’s inscription on the school memorial.

The medals were presented to the headteacher of Elmore Green Primary School, Jane Humphreys, by the nephew of W.E. Grimsley, Mr Ron Grimsley of Beechdale, Bloxwich, following the remembrance service (pictured, above).

Mr Grimsley is himself a veteran of the Korean War, during which he served in the Royal Navy aboard the Crown Colony-class cruiser HMS Jamaica.

Lance Corporal Grimsley features, along with the other men on the school memorial, in a new book, ‘Sorrow into Pride’, by local historians Ken Wayman and Barry Crutchley, which it is is hoped will be on sale either in December or January.