- Surnames starting with the letter C. 

Henry Charles (Charles) Croft

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:02nd Bn
Name of Rgt or Ship:Cheshire Rgt
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:Belgium
Cemetery or Memorial:Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Town Memorial:Altrincham
Extra Information:
Born during the June quarter 1878 in the Sheffield R.D. - ref:9c/553. 
Registered as Henry Charles Croft, the son of Henry Charles & Elizabeth
Croft (nee Burns).

1881 Census - 5 Elton Street, Nether Hallam, York.  Listed as Henry C.
Croft).   Grandson - aged: 3 - born: Sheffield, Yorkshire.   Also Elizabeth
Croft (mother) Married - aged: 22 - occ: Soldier's Wife - born: Sheffield. 
Plus 2 sisters.  Head of household - Ellen Burns - Widow - aged:52 - occ:
Charwoman - born: Sheffield.  His father was a regular Soldier and not at

1891 Census - 34 Stringer Street, Stockport.  Listed as Henry Croft   Son -
aged: 13 - Scholar - born: Sheffield, Yorkshire.   Head of household -
Charles Croft - aged: 42 - occ: Dyer of Hats - born: Handforth, Cheshire.  
Also - Elizabeth Croft - Wife - aged:32 - born: Sheffield.  Plus 4 younger
siblings, the youngest being Thomas Croft - aged: 2.

His father - Henry Charles Croft died in 1896 - aged: 47.

1901 Census - 1 Ormes Court, 57 Bamford Street, Stockport.  Listed as
Charles Croft    Head of household - aged: 22 - occ: Hawker (own account) -
born: Sheffield, Yorkshire.

1911 Census - 22 Chapel Street, Altrincham (Lodging House).  Listed as
Charles  Croft.    Boarder - aged: 31 - occ: General Labourer - born:
Stockport.  One of 18 Lodgers at this address.

WO363 - He attested at Stockport on the 12th January 1897.   He enlisted
for 12 years into the Cheshire Rgt - No. 5396, at Chester on the 23rd
February 1897 - already serving in the Cheshire Militia.  Aged 18 years and
born at Sheffield, he was employed as a Dyer.   He was 5 feet 3 3/4 inches
in height and weighed 118 lb.  His chest measurements were 33 inches
expanded to 34 inches.  He had a Fresh complexion; blue eyes; brown hair
and his religion was Church of England.  He had a scar on the front of his
neck.   Posted to Buttevant, Co. Cork, Ireland on the 8th July 1897.   On
the 31st July 1897 he was admitted to the Buttevant Station Hospital, Co.
Cork, Ireland, suffering from Lateral Curvature of the Spine.  His hospital
notes state that the date of origin and cause uncertain.  The patient
stated that when he enlisted, the swelling in his back was scarcely
discernable.  Since enlistment the swelling has increased and he suffers
much pain, especially when he attempts to stand to attention.   Further
notes state that "There is much lateral curvature of the spine to the right
in the lower dorsal and lumber regions.  The patient will never be able to
perform the duties of a soldier.  The disability is not the result of
military service and the condition is permanent".  On the 17th August 1897,
he was recommended for discharge from the Army and finally discharged on
the 9th September 1897 after 199 days service.   His next of kin was given
as his mother - Elizabeth Collins, 63 Newbridge Lane, Stockport.  His
brother - Thomas Collins, was also listed.

Charles re-enlisted in August 1914 into the Cheshire Regiment, this time
simply as Charles Croft.  They were part of 84th Brigade, 28th Division and
he was drafted to France on the 7th March 1915.  Over in France the
Battalion was relieved from front line service on the 7th and moved to
Bailleul in Army Reserve.   They moved forward to R.E. Farm on 11/03 where
they took part in operations in conjunction with 7th Brigade - 15 killed,
wounded or missing.  Returned to Bailleul 12/03.   Located at Petit Pont
Farm, The Piggeries and Le Grand Munque Farm from 14/03 to 16/03, then to
Ploegsteert.   Moved to Bailleul 17/03 and on 19/03 took over trenches in
the Kemmel sector.  Relieved on 24/03 and moved to Dranoutre.  Took over
trenches near Lindenhoek on 28/03.

On 01/04 they were relieved and marched to Dranoutre.   On to Bailleul on
03/04 and to Vlamertinghe on 12/04.   Back into the trenches again near
Zonnebeke on 15/04.   Withdrew to St. Jean 18/04 and into a support
position near Frezenberg on 22/04.   Returned to the front line again at
Zonnebeke on 26/04.    Casualties between 26/04 & 04/05 were - 16 killed;
83 wounded; and 23 missing.   On 04/05 the whole line of troops occupying
the Ypres Salient was withdrawn and the Battalion fell back to a new line
running just east of Frezenberg.    Took over line at Verlorenhoek on 07/05
and on 08/05 the Germans attacked them and three Companies were wiped out. 
 What was left of the Battalion was brought out by just two sub-lieutenants
and only 32 men drew rations that night.

Listed simply as Charles Croft on the Chapel Street Roll of Honour.

See also "The Bravest Little Street in England" by Karen Cliff, Trafford
Local Studies Library.

Memorials found on:
Chapel Street (Altrincham)
Altrincham & District Roll of Honour
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