Private Edmund Charles Crook

Service Army Service No. 44386
Rank Private
Regiment:South Wales Borderers, 11th Battalion
Date of Birth: 01/12/1883
Born Dawlish
Date of Death: 12/04/1918
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription CROOK E. C. PTE. S.W.BORDRS

Service History

Edmund Charles Crook enlisted first with the Royal Engineers at Chatham with a service number 187135. At some point he was transferred to the 11th Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. This was a part of the 38th (Welsh) Division.

The 11th Battalion was disbanded at the end of January 1918 and on 31 January was at Estaires. The previous week they had spent in sports and relaxation in very warm weather for the winter, and then engaged in digging strong points and connecting them together as the weather suddenly turned very cold. This area became a battlefield on 9-11 April. They were to resist a German attack on ground gained two years earlier in the Battles of the Somme. It may be assumed that the remnants of the 11th Battalion were used to support other Divisions which were under strength, but there is no surviving record.

Private Edmund Crook was wounded and taken to 23rd Casualty Clearing Station at Lozinghem where he died on 12th April. The Clearing Station was about 2 km west of Lapugnoy to which the dead were taken, then to the Lapugnoy Military Cemetery where his grave can be found with the inscription, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”

Association with Dawlish

Edmund Charles Crook was the grandson of John Crook, born in Witheridge in 1802 and of Elizabeth, born in Taunton in 1811. They had a son, William, who was born in Puddington (about 8 miles west of Tiverton) who married Elizabeth Gilpin who was from Dawlish in 1863.

William Crook (1840-1923 ) and Elizabeth (nee Gilpin) (1845-1916 ) had twelve children of which nine survived to 1911.

By 1891 when they were living at Commercial Road, Dawlish.

William was a bricklayer’s labourer and the children at home were:

Sarah, 20, a student in a farming college,

James Henry, 16, a billiard maker,

Ernest, 9,

Edmund Charles, 7,

Annie, 5

Leonard, 2.

Edmund married Gertrude Ellen Tozer in 1907. She was the daughter of Edmund and Emma Tozer of 16 Manor Row, Dawlish, and he was a chimney sweep. Soon after this Edmund and Gertrude moved to 10 Exe Street, Exeter where they had two children by the time of the 1911 census. They were a son, Leslie Crook (1909-) and a daughter, Miriam Crook (1910- ). Edmund was by now a carpenter and joiner.

Devon Roll of Honour Crook, Edmund Charles, Pte, South Wales Bordrs, 12th Apr 1918, France
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: Gertrude Ellen Crook, widow
Last Known Address: 10 Exe Street, Exeter

Private Edmund Charles Crook, in uniform of the Royal Engineers

South Wales Borderers cap badge WW1

Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, near Bethune, N France

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