RFA West Lancs Bdes
680554 DVR. W. CROOK. R.F.A.
William Crook was born in the second quarter of 1892 in Preston. His father was Thomas Crook (b. 1863 in Preston), a general labourer. His mother was Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ainsworth (b. 1865 in Preston). Tom and Lizzie were married in 1890 and they had 7 children, though 2 died in infancy. William was the oldest survivor, followed by Joseph (b. 1894), Jane (b. 1895), Mary (b. 1902) and Ellen (b. 1904). In 1911, the family was living at 125 Skeffington Road, Preston. William was a weaver.
In 1912, William married Mary Jane Lube (or Luke). Mary Jane was born in 1891 in Preston but I haven’t been able to trace her in the Censuses. The couple had two children: William (b. 1913) and Frederick (b. 1914). According to CWGC, they then lived at 30 Muncaster Road, Preston.
William must have been in the Territorials before the War. He was originally assigned service number 1980 and posted to “B” Battery of 276 Brigade. He was a driver and he landed with his Division in France on 30 September 1915.
276 Brigade formed part of 55th (West Lancashire) Division. The Division landed in France on 29/30 September 1915. They fought at Guillemont and Ginchy (on the Somme) in September 1916, suffering severe losses especially at Guillemont. They also fought at Flers-Courcelette and Morval later that month. At the end of 1916 William got a new service number 680554.
In 1917, William fought with his Division during the Third Battle of Ypres and at the end of the year in the disastrous campaign at Cambrai. In April and May 1918, the Division was engaged in the successful defence of Givenchy. The attack was at its most intense between 9-18 April, after which it gradually slackened. During May, the Brigade remained near Givenchy but there were no more attacks and on 27 May they were relieved from the line and withdrew to bivouac at Bois des Dames. However, some time during this fighting, William was wounded and he died at 6th Casualty Clearing Station on 29 May 1918. He was 27 years old.
Service No: 680554
Date of Death: 29/05/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “B” Bty, 276th Bde. Cemetery/memorial reference: II. D. 50.
Cemetery/Memorial: PERNES BRITISH CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Thomas and Lizzie Crook, of Preston; husband of Mary Crook, of 30 Muncaster Road, Preston.