Joseph and Hugh Grummitt 14 November 1918

With the War over, the parents of the two Grummitt boys, once of Dryden, might have been celebrating the survival of their sons, who had both been on active service in the War. But events were to disabuse them of any sense of relief. By a cruel twist of fate, both their boys, Joseph and Hugh, fine sons of Yorkshire, would die within weeks of each other after the Armistice. 

Joseph Roland Grummitt was born in 1894 and came up to Dryden in 1907, leaving four years later just before his seventeenth birthday. He represented the House in rowing, in the gym and at cricket. In his last year, he helped Dryden to an easy win over New House by an innings and 17 runs. Joe Grummitt was not a major contributor with bat or ball but he took the important wicket of Tom Warner with a catch. In the next round however, Dryden were beaten equally easily by School House. They lost by an innings and 42 runs, being bowled out in their first innings for just 18! 

In August 1914, he was in Canada and immediately joined the first Canadian Contingent to help the motherland in her hour of need. He fought with them during 1915 and 1916 at Ypres, Givenchy and Festubert, where he was wounded. In October 1916, he took a commission in the East Yorkshire Regiment, where no doubt, he felt more at home as he had been brought up in Hornsea, in that part of Yorkshire. In January 1917, he was on the Continent once again, acting as signalling officer for his battalion. At the end of February, he returned for six months home service. He died from pneumonia, probably brought on by the flu pandemic, in Colchester Military Hospital on 14th November 1918, aged 24.

Four months later, the grief of Joseph’s parents was doubled when their younger son Hugh Cecil Grummitt also died of heart failure, probably brought on by flu. He was four years the younger of the two boys and so they didn’t overlap in Dryden. Hugh arrived in Dryden in 1913, two years after Joe’s departure and left, aged 16, in April 1915. Again, he does not appear to have played sport for the school but rather at House level. In cricket he was a handy bowler whose wicket taking helped Dryden reach the senior final. Unfortunately, they lost the final to the all-conquering Grafton side by an innings and 175 runs. Hugh Grummitt took the all-important wicket of Philip Silk but he had already scored 95! 

He served in the Queen’s Westminsters for eight months before taking a commission in the East Yorkshire Regiment like his brother, in May 1918. In August he was wounded in France and invalided back to Blighty. He apparently recovered and re-joined the East Yorks. before dying of heart failure on 25th March 1919 in Hull. He was just 20 years old at the time of his death. Now they lie side-by-side in Hornsea Cemetery, their home close to the sea.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow