RFA West Lancs Bdes
2ND LT. J. McCREADIE. R.F.A.
John McCreadie was born on 30 January 1893 in Everton and baptised at Everton St Ambrose on 8 February. His father was also John McCreadie (b. 1861 in Everton), a dock labourer. His mother was Martha Maddox (b. 1865 in Liverpool). John and Martha were married in 1891 and they had three children: John jnr, followed by Mary (b. 1897) and William (b. 1898). In 1911, the family was living at 22 Rubens Street, Everton, and John jnr had started work as a clerk in a life insurance office. John McCreadie snr died in 1915, around the time his son was joining the Army.
John McCreadie enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery probably in 1915 and was assigned service number 681406. Whilst in training in Kent he met and married Edith Mary Hawkins (b. 1896 in Deal).
I believe John was initially posted to “D” Battery of 286 Brigade, and he landed in France with 57th Division on 8 February 1917. He was obviously a very capable soldier. During training he was promoted to Sergeant and not long after landing in France he was sent for officer training. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 4 November 1917. He was then transferred to “A” Battery of 255th Brigade.
255 Brigade formed part of the divisional artillery for 51st (Scottish) Division. At the end of 1917, 51st Division, like 55th Division, was engaged in the Battle of Cambrai and the German counter-attack. From The Long, Long Trail: The Division remained in the Cambrai area until 21 March 1918, when the enemy launched a huge and overwhelming attack on the fronts of Fifth and Third Armies, the Division being in the latter near Flesquières. The defensive front around Flesquières formed a salient and was strongly held by the British. The enemy decided not to attack it frontally, but instead drenched it with gas while attacking on either side. The pressure grew during the day, and from early evening the Division began a fighting withdrawal that over the next few days took it back several miles, through Beaumetz, towards Bapaume. In fighting a number of critical rearguard actions, Divisional losses built up to a total of over 4,900 men. John McCreadie was among the casualties, falling on 21 March 1918. He was 25 years old.
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Service No: 681406 (prior to commission)
Date of Death: 21/03/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “A” Bty, 255th Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: Bay 1.
Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL
Additional Information: Son of the late John and Martha McCreadie; husband of Edith McCreadie, of 6 Belmont Terrace, Upper Walmer, Deal, Kent.
Edith never remarried. I believe she died in Kent in 1990, aged 93.