Robert Alexander Greg Biography

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Robert was born in 1867 and was the fourth son of Edward Hyde Greg and his wife Margaret Broadbent. He was educated at Yarlet Hall preparatory school before he joined the family business in 1886. In 1900 he succeeded his father as master of Quarry Bank Mill, when his father retired from the business.

Robert was a very keen soldier and joined the local Volunteers, Wilmslow Detachment in 1889, advancing through the ranks until he became Captain in 1893, and was made Instructor of Musketry to 3rd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment. In January 1900 he transferred to the 3rd South Lancashire Regiment and was deployed to South Africa to serve in the Boer Wars (1900-1902), interrupting his early years of his involvement at Quarry Bank Mill, and it was left to his father to oversee the management of the company during this period. Following his return he took up his post as the master of the Mill once more, and dived into local work, and was made a magistrate for the County of Chester in 1903.

Robert married Mildred Worthington 1906 and they had one son, Thomas Ronald Tylston Greg who died at the age of 9,
Robert was a keen photographer and we hold a great many of his photos in our archive which provide a wonderful insight to life at Quarry Bank for the Greg family. Robert also loved animals and he had several dogs that were often the focus of his photography.

Robert, like his grandfather, Robert Hyde Greg, oversaw many repairs and renewals during his time as the business’ figurehead, with the replacement of the waterwheel by turbines (1904 – 05) and the introduction of automatic Northrop looms (1909). His control of the Mill was once more interrupted by war in 1914.

Upon the outbreak of the First World War, (now) Major Greg was again called up to join his regiment, as second in command of 3rd South Lancashire Battalion, and was charged with guarding the docks of Liverpool from Gladstone Dock to Herculaneum. He was sent to Edinburgh in command of a special mobile Battalion in late 1914 and remained there until 1915. In October of 1915 he was promoted to command the 3rd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment. During this time he was also promoted to Colonel. After the war ended he returned to resume control of the Mill.

On March 31st 1923, Robert, the sole proprietor of the Mill under Robert Greg & Co., relinquished his position and formed Quarry Bank Mills Company Limited, a private company. The directors were registered as: Colonel Ernest William Greg CB, Mr Edward Hyde Greg (Jr), Lieutenant Colonel Robert Alexander Greg CBE, Colonel FR McConnell and Major Hugh Stuart Greg. Mr S.H. Henshall was appointed as general manager. Robert resigned his directorship in June 1923. He remained the figurehead of this new company, but moved to Hertforshire (his wife died in 1914) and left the day to day running of the Mill to his brother Ernest William.

He spent his years in Hampshire gardening and tending to a herd of Jersey cows, as well as becoming a Rural District Councillor and a County Magistrate for Hampshire until he died in 1953.