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Aurel Sercu

Pte Norman CROWTHER, 1/4th West Riding Reg, date of birth

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Aurel Sercu

I would like to resume a bit of research regarding Pte Norman Crowther, 3288, 1/4th West Riding Regt. (Duke of Wellington's Regt.), fallen 23 Nov. 1915.

 

My interest: he died in my village (Boezinge, near Ypres), was buried in Talana Farm Cemetery here. And he apprears to be the youngest casualty (Age 16) in the cemetery (at least of the approx. 280 men whose age is mentioned).

 

I already have gathered some information on him (circumstances of death ... portrait ... war diaries ... articles ...) But there is one specific detail I would like to acquire: the date of birth (or month, or quarter).

 

Age 16 appeares to be correct. But I would like to see some tangible information supporting this age (his date of birth). For elsewhere I read: "Apparent age 19", and also: 17/18. So a date of birth would be useful.

 

I have the Census 1911. His age is given as 11. (So that means he was born between April 1899 - March 1900 I guess?) The Census 1901 would be useful too. (He was born in Leeds. But I think he grew up or lived in Elland (25, Victoria Road, Elland, Yorks is his parents' address.)

 

Aurel

Edited by Aurel Sercu
It left unfinished after pressing the wrong key !

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EDWARD1

He was aged 1 in the 1901 census at 54 Westgate Elland

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david murdoch

Parents names from CWGC - father John and mother Emma (deceased). Not seeing a Baptism record for him which would  cross reference parents and also give birth date.

Edited by david murdoch

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George Rayner

Nearest I can get is either 1s or 3rd quarter of 1900. Strangely there are two Norman Crowther births registered and cant distinguish this lad.

His service papers say he 'appears to be' 19 years old when signing on in 1914

 

George

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RaySearching

As Norman is shown as aged 1 on the 1901 census

Norman would have had to be born prior to March 1900 to be aged 1 in 1901

 

Free BMD bring the following results

1608776189_age1.JPG.f955a86f049eb7a7d036b15cc54ccc53.JPG

 

His birth could have been registered in either Halifax or Huddersfield the nearest towns to Elland

Elland.JPG.420f0dabb2c582761e983264fcbbfb56.JPG

 

Cannot see a baptism record for him which would have give the date of birth 

 

 listed as aged 16 /on newspaper cutting and photo aged  17    HERE

 

Ray

 

 

 

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IPT
21 minutes ago, George Rayner said:

Nearest I can get is either 1s or 3rd quarter of 1900. Strangely there are two Norman Crowther births registered and cant distinguish this lad.

His service papers say he 'appears to be' 19 years old when signing on in 1914

 

George

 

I'd say 1st or 4th Qtr 1899, Elland coming under Halifax.

 

Probably 4th Qtr 1899 if he was still one year old on the 1901 census.

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corisande

Here is a photo - IWM

 

crowther.jpg.e66cd338ce88147eba183c33f2f6181b.jpg

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RaySearching
4 minutes ago, corisande said:

Here is a photo - IWM

Same photo as post 5 :thumbsup:

 

as an aside his brother John William also fell

1403770997_johnwilliam.JPG.a2f58486392560639559c234844e1cdc.JPG

 

His mother Emma died on the 3rd February 1921  (source pension records)

 

Ray

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Aurel Sercu

Edward1, David, George, RaySearching, IPT, Corisande,

 

Thank you so much for your prompt replies.

Useful indeed, though some things make me wonder ...

 

George, 1st or 3rd quarter 1900 ... a little confusing ... If 3rd quarter Norman cannot have been age 1 in the Census 1901 - if 1st quarter 1900, this could make sense. (But IPT : "probably 4th quarter 1899.)

 

"appears to be" 19 years old when enlisting. I wonder what the significance is of this. Is it : "He says he is 19, but we don't know for sure, and we have to accept" ? So it comes from his service records (which survived!). Do these records also say on what date he enlisted?

 

Corisande, yes the caption with his photo says "only 17". (And also : Nov. 24, which in fact should be 23.) And on Find A Grave I also see : (aged 15-16)

 

RaySearch, Do you think, like IPT, that 4th Quarter of 1899 makes most sense ? And yes, his brother Joe (Joseph) died one and a half years later ...

 

Again, thanks!

 

Aurel

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jay dubaya

The term ‘apparent age’ is the actual question on the attestation form. He attested on the 2nd November 1914, the month October is crossed out, his age is given as 19 and no months. I wonder if he was sent away and told to return a few days later when he could be 19.

 

J

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sadbrewer

Most accurate way is to send for a copy of his birth cert. from the online GEO, about £7.00 I think.

 

Edit...GRO

Edited by sadbrewer

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George Rayner

Aurel

I have found other Census returns where a child is said to be 1 before their first birthday has been reached in my family research although I would agree that 1st quarter is more likely of those two references.

 

George

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Aurel Sercu

Thanks, J. and Sadbrewer,

 

Yes, getting a little more complicated even. Which makes me even more determined to dig deeper.  :-)

Aurel

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Aurel Sercu

And thanks, George too. And what you write, I certainly agree, for I have found similar cases too. (For older ages too, especially when one compares the Census 1901 and 1911. Calculating the exact number of finished years can be a problem. At the time, and even now ...)

 

Aurel

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Aurel Sercu

I would also like to know the Company Pte Norman Crowther was in.

 

Not easy to find out, but there is a way. Norman's parents were informed of his death by Lt. E(dward) N(ixon) MARSHALL, Company Commander. If I knew what company E.N. Marshall was in command of (on 23 Nov. 1915)...

 

The answer may be found in : P. Bales, The History of the 1/4th Battalion Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment, 1914-1919, Halifax-London, 1920, and probably page 299 or 300 (List of officers serving abroad).

 

If someone has access to this book right now ... And if Lt. or Capt. E. N. Marshall's name is mentioned, what Company, please in Nov. 1915? (I think it could be A or C Coy.)

 

Aurel

 

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Aurel Sercu

Well, I have just answered my own question, after seeing that P. Bales, The History etc., is on line.

 

And just before that I came across something in Comrades in Arms, The letters of Frank Cocker, a soldier in the Great War, which indeed indirectly supported that Norman Crowther was in "A" Coy.

 

Aurel

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dink999

It looks certain that Norman's birth was the one registered in the 4th quarter of 1899 as found by Ray in post 5

 

His father John Crowther married Emma Burrows in April 1894, here on Ancestry

 

Searching for on the GRO site GRO births 1899+/-  2 years gives seven results only one of which has a mother's maiden name of Burrows

 

Dave

IMG_4716.PNG

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Aurel Sercu

Dave,

Thank you so much for your posting. This indeed removes all doubt, clearly confirming what Ray wrote in post 5.

(And I'll send you a PM soon after this.)

 

Aurel

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DaveC

Aurel

   Here's some information from local papers.  Kindest Regards DaveC

Brighouse Echo 03-12-1915 page 7.png

Halifax Weekl Courier 04-1-1915 page 8.png

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Aurel Sercu

Dave(C),

Thanks!

And I'll send you an e-mail. Tomorrow (Tuesday).

Aurel

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