2nd Lieutenant Cyril Alfred William Crichton
3rd City of London Battalion(Royal Fusiliers)
10th March 1915
Born on 05-04-1893 in Kensington ,London.
In the 1901 census,he is recorded as living with his father,
Lionel Alfred Crichton(1866-12-08-1938),a Silversmith and Jeweller and his mother,Fannie Emma Caroline (nee Mitchell(married 1891)),born in 1869 and died on 14-04-1950, at 18 Hamilton Terrace,Marylebone,London.
Cyril had 2 sisters, Ethel Mary Sara(1895-04-04-1958) and Muriel (born in 1906).
In the 1911 census,Cyril is recorded as being a Student (he was educated at Marlborough and Exeter College,Oxford.). His father was still a Silversmith and they still lived in the same house as 1901.
The Bond of Sacrifice Book 2 page 110
He received his commissioned in June 1913.
On the outbreak of war,he was a student of the Inner Temple,but offered his services and was mobilized on 04-08-1914.
His dis-embarkation into France was in 01-1915.
He was killed in action on 10-03-1915 whilst leading his platoon in a bayonet charge at Neuve Chapelle.
A description of his death appeared in the Surrey Mirror on 02-04-1915.
“When the order to advance was given the lieutenant stepped in front of his platoon, and, with the cry, ‘Follow me,’ was first on the exposed ground. Before many yards a bullet struck his leg, and he stumbled. One or two of the men following on made over to help him, he was too quick for them. Struggling to his feet, he shouted the ‘Charge’ again, and stumbled on. Another bullet caught him, this time a mortal wound, and he never rose again. The stretcher-bearers went out, and gently the young lieutenant was lifted from the field. With feeble strength he protested that the hurt was not serious, and that his men lying around must receive attention.
He saw one of his own platoon, Pte. J. T. Bullen, looking sorrowfully on, and beckoned him. Bullen, who is himself in hospital in France, stepped up to the stretcher. Lieut. Crichton raised himself a little, and the soldier slipped an arm round his shoulders. Then the dying officer looked up at the private and spoke for the last time. “Take me home, Bullen,” he said, “take me home.” Five minutes later his petition had been answered.”
His body was originally buried behind a house in La Bombe,but it was exhumed in 1925 by the Imperial War Grave Commission and reburied in Le Touret Military Cemetery,Plot IV C.34.
This memorial was erected shortly after the end of the war,by his family,close to where he died,but has now been moved from its original location.
It was damaged during fighting in world war 2 and has also been hit by a car.*