Leather and Dyeing

Keble Grounds

Written and researched by David Bohl, with the kind help of historians world wide.

Born in Lewisham, London 1895 Keble Grounds played for the Aliens just before the Great War having moved up to Merseyside to pursue his career in the Leather Industry.

Keble Grounds may have come up to Liverpool to work at Garston Tanning Company. The Garston Historical Society notes "In 1899 the Garston Tanning Company took over the twelve acre site as previously mentioned and became one of the largest tanneries in the country, processing 10,000 hides a week for a wide range of uses. Standing close to the historic site of a 13th century tannery, the firm was started by the Boston family, and though now using modern machinery, recently (2007) production ceased and the works closed. Sadly, the old drying sheds and soaking pits have been demolished and the firm was owned by Garston Leather, Scottish Tanning Industries."

A newspaper report finds him playing for Birkenhead Park RUFC later that season.

20th Feb 1914

Perhaps he was at The Birkenhead Leather Stores on Market Street.

[Photo from Ancestry family tree]
Keble was was born on 8th April 1895, the son of Frederick Collier Grounds (a
Rate Collector) and Bessie Mary Grounds of 5 Wantage Road, Lee and later of
338 Lee High Road. In 1912, holding a Leathersellers’ Company Scholarship at
the Leathersellers’ Technical College in Bermondsey, he passed the City and
Guilds Examination in Heavy Leather Tanning with first class honours. He
repeated this achievement in relation to Light Leather Dressing and Leather
Dyeing in 1913 and was awarded the Leathersellers’ Company diploma in July
of that year.
Keble joined up on 2nd September 1914 as a Private in the Public Schools Corps.
Keble was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the 12th Battalion of the
Sherwood Foresters also serving with the 4th Battalion and as Bombing Officer
to the 2nd Battalion. Whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, he took part in an
attack on 15th September 1916 in support of the 1st Battalion of the
Leicestershire Regiment on a German position known as the Quadrilateral
Redoubt near Ginchy on the Somme
. Keble was killed as his Battalion was
moving forward to their start line aged 21. He has no known grave but is
commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A)
and on the memorial at St Margaret’s Church Lee.]
[Narrative courtesy of Colfes School Archives]

Sherwood Foresters Officers Cap Badge

He is listed on the Lewisham Memorial  and Birkenhead Park RUFC on IWM
and appears on a University of London list of those who served in WW1.

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