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W. J. Creswick

Credit for this entry to:
Andrew Behan.

W. J. Creswick

War dead  Male  Born 1881  Died 22/3/1918

Categories: War Memorial WW1

Lance Corporal William James Creswick was the eldest of the nine children of William Creswick (1859-1904) and Ada Creswick née Camm (1861-1946). His birth was registered in the 3rd quarter of 1881 in the St. Saviour registration district. On 25 September 1881 he was baptised at Christ Church, Southwark, where the baptismal register shows the family living at 25 Price's Street, Southwark, and that his father was a billiard marker. (A billiard marker is someone who attends on players at billiards and records the progress of the game).

In the 1891 census he is shown as a scholar, living in two rooms at 6 Doon Street, Waterloo, Lambeth, with his parents and two siblings: Ada Emma Ethel Creswick (1883-1946) and Albert Edward Creswick (1888-1964).

Postal Appointment Books show that In September 1899 he was appointed as an assistant postman in the West London Postal area and the Edinburgh Gazette dated 31 October 1899 confirmed he was a postman with effect from 23 October 1899.

The 1901 census describes him as a postman and that he was residing in four rooms at 51 Burlington Road, Fulham, with his parents and five siblings: Albert Edward Creswick, Roberts Thomas Creswick (1892-1950), Benjamin Frederick Creswick (1894-1971), Walter John Creswick (1896-1915) and Lilian Creswick (1898-1959), together with a male boarder. His father's occupation was recorded as a 'billiards stacker (disengaged)'.

In the April 1911 census he was still shown as a postman, living in five rooms at 66 Horder Road, Fulham, with his widowed mother and five siblings: Ada who was a waitress, Robert a dairyman's assistant, Benjamin a grocer's assistant, Walter a junior law clerk and Lilian who was still at school.

On 10 June 1911 he married Ellen Moss (1889-1956) at St Barnabas Church, Clapham Common North Side, London, SW4 9SW, where the marriage register confirms his occupation as a postman and gave the address of both him and his wife as 7 Eccles Road, Battersea. They had two children: Ethnie Margaret Cresswick (1912-1999) and Robert William Creswick (1914-1969).

His brother, Walter John Creswick, who had enlisted as a Rifleman in the 7th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps, service number R/10988, died, aged 19 years, on 30 July 1915 and as he has no known grave is commemorated on Panels 51 and 53 on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, Ypres (now called Ieper), Belgium.

On the 9 December 1915 he enlisted and was attested in the Rifle Brigade, service number S/26510 and placed in the Army Reserve the following day. He was mobilised on 20 June 1916 and was posted to their 15th Battalion on 24 June 1916. On 1 September 1916 he was transferred to their 18th (Training Reserve) Battalion and embarked to join the British Expeditionary Force on 6 October 1916 arriving in Le Harve, France on 8 October 1916. On 24 October 1916 he was transferred to the 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade and on 29 May 1917 he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal (unpaid). On 25 August 1917 he suffered a gun shot wound to the face. Recovering, he was appointed as a paid Lance Corporal on 4 September 1917.

He died, aged 29 years, during the Battle of St. Quentin in France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website gives his date of death as 23 March 1918 but probate and his service records both state that he went missing in action and was presumed dead on 22 March 1918. As he has no known grave, he is commemorated on Stone 81.A. of the Pozieres Memorial.

His widow was awarded a pension of £1-6s-8d per week for herself and two children with effect from 9 December 1918. His Next of Kin Memorial Plaque and Scroll was sent to his widow in June 1919. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow on 8 September 1919 and his effects totalled £210-19s-11d. On 17 September 1919 his army effects of £9-10s-5d plus his £11-0s-0d war gratuity were sent to his widow.

He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal 1914-1918 which his widow received on 28 April 1921 and the Victory Medal which she received on 10 April 1923. He is also commemorated on Page 86 of the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance Memorial Book 1914-1920.

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W. J. Creswick

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