Greenhow, Denys Edward

SECOND LIEUTENANT DENYS EDWARD GREENHOW
No: 14927 – 45th Squadron – Royal Flying Corps
Killed in Action 6th March 1917 – aged 19
Buried at Lijssenhoek Military Cemetery. Plot X Row A Grave 12

Certificate: GREENHOW, DENYS EDWARD – courtesy of Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Denys was born in the Vicarage at Chideock in July 1987.  His father was the Reverend Edward Henry Greenhow who was born in Yorkshire in 1864.  His mother was Gertrude Mary Petch and Denys had an older brother Maurice and a sister Stephanie.  The family had latterly moved to Royal Parade, Eastbourne in Sussex.  Denys was educated at Cleveland School, Dorchester Road in Weymouth and at Lancing College where he was in Head House from September 1910 to December 1915.  He became House Captain in in 1914 and was appointed Head of House in 1915.  He was a Company Sergeant Major in the Officer Training Corps, achieving Certificate A, and gained his Higher School Certificate in 1914 and 1915.

On 24th February 1916 he enlisted in the army at the recuiting office in Eastbourne as Private S/14927.  On enlistment it was recorded that he was 5 eet 10 inches tall and weighed 15 stones.  On the following day he was posted to No.3. Officer Cadet Battalion for training.  He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on probation in the Royal Flying Corps on 6th July 1916 and went to the front in France as an Observer in early October.  He was promoted to Flying Officer (Observer) on 17th January 1917 which was antedated to the 15th October 1916.  Early in 1917 he went home on leave and spent two days of it at Lancing.
On the 6th March 1917 he had returned from leave and was flying in a Sopwith Strutter piloted by Captain J>E> Mackay.  They were returning to base with slight engine trouble when they encountered 5 enemy aircraft over the Houlthust Forest and soon became engaged in combat.  During the fight Denys Greenhow was wounded. ‘I am hit’ he said to his pilot and McKay flew for home. ‘Is it bad’ he was asked and the reply was ‘Yes, I am afraid it is’.  He did not speak again.  They were forced down at Abeele; Mackay survived by Denys Greenhow died of his wounds.  His Flight Commander wrote in a diary entry: ‘In Grenhow we have lost one of our best and cleverest observers, one of the cleverest I have ever known’.  His Major wrote: ‘He was loved by every Officer in the Squadron’.
His brother Lieutenant Maurice Wyvil Greenhow OL was also an Observer in the Royal Flying Corps with 8 Squadron and became a Prisoner of War when he was shot down on 25th September 1915.  He survived the war and was repatriated on 18th November 1918.
IN MEMORY OF
SECOND LIEUTENANT DENYS EDWARD GREENHOW
Remembered with Honour
LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY
LANCING WAR MEMORIAL
ALL SAINTS CHURCH, EASTBOURNE
CHIDEOCK WAR MEMORIAL, DORSET.
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