Jack Eckersley Greenall was born in Lymm in 1889 and baptised at the parish church on 16 May 1889. His father, Henry, was a solicitor and his mother was called Edith. Jack had three siblings, Dorothy Helen b1894, Ailsa b1899 and Norman Henry b1908. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the family had moved to Hill Cliffe House, Appleton and then to the Elms, Moore in 1903.
Jack was a keen sportsman, being particularly fond of cricket, shooting and hunting. He last visited The Ems in February 1918.
Jack was educated at Sandroyd School in Salisbury, Eton and Oxford. He was apprenticed to S Reynold’s and Co. tannery in Warrington and joined the Duke of Lancaster’s Yeomanry. After the regiment was disbanded in 1917, he joined the Royal Flying Corps.
In early March 1918, Jack sent his parents a letter from the front saying that he was ‘quite well’. Not long afterwards, his parents received the worst news, a telegram telling them of his death.
“Deeply regret to inform you that Captain JE Greenall, Royal Air Force, is reported to have been killed on 31st March. The Air Council expresses their sympathy.”
A letter written to them by a fellow officer, gave some details. He was on a bombing patrol when the aircraft was attacked by five enemy scouts and Jack was killed instantly.
Extract from The Warrington Guardian, 13 April 1918 –
‘According to a letter from a fellow officer Captain Greenall went up with a Lieutenant as a Pilot on a bombing patrol when the machine was attacked by five enemy scouts and Captain Greenall was killed almost immediately. The pilot was wounded but landed the machine on the British side.’
A memorial service was held at St Thomas’ Church, Stockton Heath. The congregation included many family members and friends and representatives of the public life of the area. As a mark of respect, S Reynolds and Co. (tannery), G and J Greenall (distillery) and Henry Greenall and Co (solicitors) were all closed while the service took place.
Jack is buried in St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens, France.
In June 2002, Jack’s medals were sold at auction – the British Star, War and Victory medals, his memorial plaque and an illustrated memorial scroll. They were bought for £780.