Private Fred Henley
Serving Soldiers' Biographies
Private Fred Henley 11027 Grenadier Guards
Fred was born in 1879 at Gammons Lane (School Lane) Eaton Bray the first born of 3 children to parents John Henley a Duck Breeder and Sarah Jane nee Boarder from Ivinghoe.
John died in 1891 leaving Sarah Jane to carryon the family business. In 1892 Sarah Jane married Harry Varney and by the 1901 census he was running the business. Fred at this time is boarding in Watford with Eaton Bray man Lewis Proctor and his family working as a Carman.
In 1903 Fred joined the Army and signed up with the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Not known how long he was with them but in 1910 he married Ellen Cook of Edlesborough and settled in Summerleys whilst working at Wallace's as a Nurseryman Labourer.
When war broke out he again joined his old Regiment and was sent to France. His medal card gives his qualifying date as the 20th September 1914.
The Guards fought in many battles including Mons where Fred was severely wounded and was discharged in 1917.
After the war Fred was employed again at Wallace's and also did some General Farm Work. He became a member of the Old Contemptibles in Dunstable and the Grenadier Guards Comrades Association in Aylesbury. He was later employed by Beds County Council as a Road Mender.
Fred died in 1958 aged 79. At his funeral taken by the Rev Peter Graham at Eaton Bray Church his coffin was draped in the Union Flag and at his grave the Last Post and "Reveille" were sounded by Mr E Impey of Park Lane and Mr F Dickens recited "They shall grow not old"