John Martin Greenwood
John Martin Greenwood

John Martin Greenwood (1893-1915), Lance Corporal (3009), 1st/8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles), was killed in action in France on 23 December 1915, aged 23. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, in the Pas de Calais area of France, panel 131, as well as being remembered on this family grave. He was also commemorated on the Cambridge Guildhall war memorial, at St Luke’s, and on the Cambridge Post Office war memorial.

Cambridge Post Office War Memorial
Cambridge Post Office War Memorial

John was born in 1893 in Cambridge. He was the youngest of four sons born to Thomas Greenwood and Jane Greenwood (née Cook). John was probably named after his paternal grandfather, also called John Martin Greenwood. His father was a tailor. The family grew up in Cambridge including at 29 Kingston Street (Petersfield). John’s father died when he was about two years old. After his death his mother remarried five years later to Fred Anderson, a gardener. The family lived at 46 Kingston Street and then 17 Victoria Road. John and his elder brother, Albert, became postmen.

John enlisted in Cambridge and became Lance Corporal (3009), 1st/8th (City of London Regiment) Battalion (Post Office Rifles). The 1st/8th Battalion, the Londons, was the new designation given to the original Post Office Rifles (first formed in 1868 from 1,600 Post Office staff) in 1914, at which time two new battalions were raised: the 2nd/8th and 3rd/8th Battalions (‛second line units’). John went out to France in the same draft as another Cambridge postman, Rifleman (3008) Charles Sidney Mills. They were both killed in action in France on 23 December 1915 by German snipers.

GREENWOOD. – In ever loving memory of Corpl J. M. Greenwood, killed in action December 23rd, 1915.

No one knows how much we miss him,
Only aching hearts can tell.
Earth has lost him. Heaven has gained him,
Jesus hath done all things well.

– From his Mother and Brothers.

(Cambridge Independent Press, 27 December 1918)

Greenwood grave
Greenwood monument



Lat Lon : 52.203845, 0.13767699 – click here for location

Parish : St Andrew the Less

See family grave page for more information






War Graves Photographic Project
Post Office Rifles (Wikipaedia)
Cambridge Independent Press, 5 April 1895
Cambridge Independent Press, 7 January 1916
Cambridge Independent Press, 27 December 1918

By Emma Easterbrook, Mary Naylor and Ian Bent

John Martin Greenwood