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12505 Troop Sergeant Vernon Creasser


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Last time a posted a cry for help, it was answered brilliantly & led to me finding the precise location of my Grandfather's MM action. Now I have another & possibly knottier query:

I recently discovered that a 1st cousin (2x removed) had fought in the Great War in Africa - complete surprise to me. The details I have on him are:

7187 Pte Vernon Creasser, born 1886 in Leeds, enlisted in 1st Bn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry - he was well underage, got found out & did a runner but gave himself up & was eventually discharged. He became a Platelayer on the railways & frequently sailed to Nigeria in that capacity before & after the war until at least 1925. One of these voyages was in July 1913 under "Government Service".

His MIC shows him as 12505 T/Sjt E V Creasser (full name is actually Ewart Vernon Creasser) - Nigeria Regiment & HQ attached Nigeria Regiment. He was awarded the British War & Victory Medals.

He sailed to Nigeria as a platelayer in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, etc. Also, in 1917 he had one voyage to Natal, South Africa as a platelayer.

He married Sarah Esther Drury in 1906 & they had 14 children - 8 boys (3 died in their first year) & 6 girls.

Until I found this out about him, I had never even heard of the West African Frontier Force, of which the Nigerian Regiments were a part. I have done everything I can think of but am now at an impasse.

Can anyone suggest how I go about finding his service record (if it survives) or any details about his service in Africa. I've had a look at the references to the WAFF in other threads on here, but they don't seem to help in this case. National Archives were, as usual, a complete nightmare to search & I could find nothing of use. As he wasn't an officer & didn't get a high award for valour, it makes it more difficult to find anything on him. He did have one claim to fame though, he was an uncle to Eric Oswald Mowbray Knight, the author of "Lassie" & I found some photo's of Ewart among on-line published records from Eric's estate.

I have attached the 2 photo's I have of him in uniform - one apparently taken in West Africa. The other chap in the photo is unknown.

Hoping you experts on here will be able, once more, to shed some light for me.


Gordon Wake



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  • 8 months later...

Yep, tried that link & unfortunately it doesn't seem to help. I seem to be running into blank walls trying to find out anything about his service. No-one seems to know where the service records for soldiers such as him are - I have been referred to the Nigerian government, but he was white, british & a soldier, so I don't think they would be of much use. I have seen the books everyone mentions about the campaigns of the West African Frontier Force in africa during WW1, but they don't help as this man was not an officer & as his civilian trade was platelayer I am guessing he was involved in building railroads? & given the rank to give him some authority - whether he ever actually really joined up I don't know.


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I'd forgotten all about you after this time !

There is a bloc of War Diaries at Kew under WO95/5387 for various units of the Nigerian Regt,but they cover actions in East Africa from Aug 1914 to Feb 1916 ,for 1 to 4 Battalions in varying periods. They aren't yet digital though. Have you sought books on the subject ?

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  • 3 years later...

Hi there. 

Ewart Vernon Creasser was my great grandad! One of his sons (Walter) was my grandad. I’m currently researching our (Creasser) family tree & was wondering if you’re able to help?

may I ask, how are you related to Ewart? 

Many thanks 

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The OP hasn’t signed in to the forum for over 2 years. I’ve sent him a message to alert him to your post.



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