Croft Ex-Servicemen’s Association applied to the Parish Council
in 1920 for a site on which to erect a memorial to their fallen comrades.
A piece of land by the river opposite the Heathcote Arms was designated
and Mr. Spence of the Croft Granite Company arranged for the memorial
to be built. Stonemason Jack Knight was appointed to cut the stones,
which consisted of a granite column on a plinth with a surrounding wall
and chain posts. The unveiling ceremony was held on 27 July 1921, conducted
by the Reverend Leonard Babb MC CF. The following year the Croft Granite
Company presented trees to be planted behind the memorial. In 1934 the
Croft and District Branch of the Royal British Legion took responsibility
for the planting and upkeep of the memorial and this continues to the
present day. In 1993 the residents of Croft donated 60 ‘Warrior’
rose bushes for the garden and three flagpoles were erected.
Every year on Remembrance Sunday an annual Service of Remembrance is
held at the memorial, preceded by a parade through the village led by
the Croft Silver Band. Crosses of Remembrance are planted among the
roses and on the war graves in the cemetery. On Armistice Day 11 November
two minutes silence is observed at the memorial.
of the 2009 Remembrance Day Parade can be found on Facebook
20640 8th Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. Percy was the
son of Walter and Annie (nee Heath) Cockerill. He enlisted in1916
and was killed in action on the Somme on 25th September 1916 age
20. He has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Memorial
of the Missing in Thiepval Cemetery.
32558 7th Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment. Alfred was
the son of Alfred and Dinah (nee Rowley) Colledge. He married Mercy
Smith in 1910 and they had two children, Catherine in1911, and Cecil
in 1916. He enlisted in the Notts & Derby Regiment then was transferred
to the South Staffordshire Regiment in Flanders. He was killed in
the Third Battle of Ypres 8th June 1917 age 32. He has no known
grave, he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.
242158 1st/6th Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. George
was the son of Samuel and Eliza (nee Raynor) Crick., the third generation
of his family to live in Croft. He enlisted in July 1915 in the
Leicester Regiment, and then transferred to the Royal Warwickshire
Regiment. He was killed in action on the Somme 8 March 1917 age
44. He has no known grave but may lie in Kiboko Wood Cemetery with
twenty comrades from the 1st/6th Battalion. He is commemorated on
the memorial in Assevillers New British Cemetery.
196244 199th Quarrying Company The Royal Engineers. Aubrey, sometimes
known as Richard, was born in London. He married Rose Duncan in
Croft in 1909 and they had two children, Elsie May 1912, and Aubrey
1915. He was employed quarrying stones to build roads on the Somme
and was killed there on 25th September 1917, age 33. He is buried
in Les Baraques Military Cemetery in Sangatte, one of the first
British soldiers to be interred there.
14717 9th Battalion The Leicester Regiment. Arthur was the son of
James and Emma (nee Noon) Milne. He enlisted in September 1914 in
the 9th Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. He was killed in
action on the Somme on 25th September 1916 age 22. He is commemorated
in the Guards Cemetery in Les Boeufs.
025501 Royal Army Service Corps. George was the eldest son of James
and Clara (nee Broadhurst) Preston. He was taken ill in Tidworth
Camp in Surrey and died in Davidson Road War Hospital, Croydon,
Surrey on October 29 1918 age 29. He was buried with full military
honours on November 4th 1918 in the churchyard of St. Michael and
All Angels, Croft.
202037 2nd/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment).
Albert was the son of William and Lucy (nee Strain) Slingsby. He
enlisted on 11 December 1915 and married Winifred Grace Bennett
9 September 1916. He died on 26 September 1917 age 24 at Ypres.
He has no known grave, he is commemorated on the memorial in Birr
X Roads Cemetery in Ypres.
14876 9th Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. Fred was the
eldest of the two sons of Frederick and Lydia (nee Wilson) Webb.
He enlisted on 8 September 1914 and was a bugler, serving in France
and Flanders. He died on the Somme on 14 July 1916 age 21. He
has no known grave and is commemorated on the Memorial of the
Missing in Thiepval Cemetery.
2067 The Household Battalion, The Household Cavalry. Richard was
the younger son of Frederick and Lydia (nee Wilson) Webb. He was
recruited into the Household Battalion in 1917 and was killed at
Passchendaele on 10 October 1917. age 20. He has no known grave
and is commemorated on the Memorial of the Missing in Tyne Cot Cemetery.
14901 9th Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. Arthur was the
son of Arthur and Harriet (nee Wallis) Wilson. He enlisted on 8
September 1914 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 9 November
1916 and to Corporal on 2 January 1917. He died of wounds received
in battle at Arras on 30 July 1917 age 19 and is buried in St. Leger
British Cemetery in the Pas de Calais.
25788 1st Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. Robert was the
younger son of George and Sarah (nee Lines) Wilson. He died on the
Somme on 19 October 1916 age 31. He has no known grave and is commemorated
in Bancourt British Cemetery in the Pas de Calais.
men who lost their lives but who are not named on the memorial:
12314 2nd Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. Walter was the
son of Joseph and Elizabeth (nee Hancock) Bates. He married Emily
Tilcock in 1904 and they had four children , Frederick Reginald
in 1906, Elizabeth Helena in 1907, Walter John Richard in 1909 and
Lloyd George Ernest in 1915. He enlisted on 5 September 1914 and
went to France with the Expeditionary Force on 12 December 1915.
He was killed in the battle of Neuve-Chappelle on 13 March 1915.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial
in the Pas de Calais.
the seven men of Croft named below, one lies in Italy, one in
Greece, one in North Africa, one in Germany, two in the Far East
and one in Croft Cemetery
4807222 6th Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment. Fred was the son
of Charles and Harriet (nee Bassett) Collins. He married Dorothy
Place in 1935 and they had three children, Norma, Maureen and Edward.
His Regiment was part of the Allied Force which invaded Italy in
1943.and he was badly injured in an accident. He died in the 92nd
General Hospital on 1st November 1943 age 30 and was buried in the
hospital garden the following day. This garden later became Naples
Corporal 14259995 2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade. Reg was the son
of George and Maud Collis. He served with the Raiding Support Group
of the Rifle Brigade in Greece and Italy. He died of wounds received
while helping to rescue a wounded comrade under enemy fire. He was
21 and is buried in Phaleron War Cemetery in Greece.
4862845 The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment). Reuben was the
son of Edmund and Elsie (nee Stevens) Duncan of Huncote. Edmund
was killed on the Somme on 28 March 1918 and his widow moved to
Croft with her two sons. Reuben married May Bates in 1937. He first
joined the Leicester Regiment then was transferred to the Black
Watch and served in North Africa with the ‘Desert Rats’. He was
severely wounded in the Battle of El Alamein and died on 24 October
1942 age 26. He is buried in El Alamein War Cemetery
14791601 5th Battalion The King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Robert,
the youngest son of William and Ann (nee Hamilton) Hands was known
as Robin. He enlisted late in 1944 and early in 1945 the Regiment
were engaged in fierce fighting to capture the industrial town of
Bremen in Germany. Robin was killed on 8th April age 22. He is buried
in Sage War Cemetery and his name is also engraved on the memorial
to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers in Edinburgh Castle
4859918 1st Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. Albert was
the son of George and Nellie (nee Chaplin) Shenton. The 1st Battalion
were engaged in the Far East defending the British base in Singapore,
On 8th February 1942 the island was invaded by the Japanese and
Albert was killed on 12th February, three days before the British
surrendered. He was 24 and has no known grave, he is commemorated
on the memorial in Kranji Cemetery.
4859935 1st Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. Frederick was
the son of John and Jane Thompson. The 1st Battalion were in India
when the Japanese invaded Malaya in December 1941 and were engaged
on the Thai-Malaya border attempting to halt the advance into
Singapore. Fred was taken prisoner and worked on the building
of the notorious Burma-Thailand Railway. He died on 30th September
1943 and is buried in Chungkai War Cemetery in Thailand.
505179 The North Staffordshire Regiment. Lawrence was the elder
son of Henry and Hannah (nee Wallace) Wale. He died on 25 February
1940 age 22 and is buried in Croft Cemetery.