Private Christopher Crook
12766 7th East Lancashire Regiment
Died of Wounds 23rd July 1916 at 45 Cas. Clearing Stn., aged 34
Lived at 11 Hyde Street
Buried in Daours Communal Cemetery, France

 

Christopher had previously served in the 1st East Lancashire Regiment, who he joined when he was eighteen years old serving in South Africa for three years during the Boer War. When war broke out he was a time-expired reservist working at Messrs.Nuttall and Crook's mill in Elm Street where he was a twister.

On June 19 he wrote to his wife to tell her "that the next move will be the greatest since we started. We may start any day now, so we must both trust in God to see me safely through. I think we shall break the German army up before another two months. We are still all waiting to give them a taste of real Lancashire heart and soul fighting. If I fall it will be with my face to the enemy and my hand on the good old Lewis gun."

Christopher was killed during a failed attack on the German lines, the battalion met strong resistance from an enemy trench which was not marked on the map. There were heavy casualties principally because the ground in front of the hostile trench was enfiladed from the German positions around High Wood.

 

BOER WAR VETERAN
DEATH IN CLEARING STATION
(Burnley Express 2/8/1916)

Mrs. Crook, of 11 Hyde-street, Burnley, has been informed both by telegram and official War Office intimation, that her husband Pte. Christopher Crook 12766 7th East Lancashire Regt. died on July 23 in No. 45 Casualty Clearing Hospital. He had previously been in hospital suffering from bad feet and had rejoined his regiment about a week when he was brought down from the firing line to the Casualty Station, where he died. The cause of his death is not given but it is presumed that he died from wounds.
Pte. C. Crook, who was 34 years of age joined the 1st East Lancashire Regt. when 18 years of age and went through the Boer War serving there three years. He was a time- expired man when this war broke out, and re-enlisted in September 1914 in a battalion of his old regiment. Previously he had been a twister at Messrs. Nuttall and Crook’s mill in Elm-street and was connected with Holy Trinity Church. He was in the Lewis gun section of his battalion.
On June 19 he wrote to his wife to tell her “that the next move will be the greatest since we started. We may start any day now, so we must both trust in God to see me safely through. I think we shall break the German army up before another two months. We are still all waiting to give them a taste of real Lancashire heart and soul fighting. If I fall it will be with my face to the enemy and my hand on the good old Lewis gun.”
On July 8 he said that he was in hospital with bad feet, “ but I shall not be long before I am able to get about my duties again. From June 30 to July 5 it was just like living in hell – nothing but shot, shell, bayonet and bomb. I was taken to hospital in a motor about 6 o’clock on Wednesday night. There is nothing wrong with me except my heels. The R.A.M.C. fellows here are very good, and they are hard worked just at present. We have lost a good number of men, you will see the list in the ‘Express’.”
He was to leave hospital on July 12 and said “ I am glad to say that I feel in perfect health and I thank God that I came through the battle alive.” He adds that he had been twelve months without leave. However Pte. Crook was not discharged from hospital until July 14th, so that it was between then and the 23rd that he was fatally injured. In the meantime he wrote : “ Our division had quite exciting times in the great advance and we have had congratulations from the General and the King. The boys worked and fought very hard indeed, and I hope to see the fruits of it before long. We are winning all along the line and I think it is only a matter of time now.”

Christopher was killed during a failed attack on the German lines, the battalion met strong resistance from an enemy trench which was not marked on the map. There were heavy casualties principally because the ground in front of the hostile trench was enfiladed from the German positions around High Wood.





 

 

 

 

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