CRACKNELL, CHARLES THOMAS

CATERPILLAR VALLEY CEMETERY LONGUEVAL

Rank: Private
Service No: 954
Date of Death: 30/07/1916
Age: 21
Regiment/Service: Seaforth Highlanders 1st/5th Bn.
Grave Reference XV A 4
Cemetery CATERPILLAR VALLEY CEMETERY, LONGUEVAL

Additional Information:

Born in 1896 at South Woodford, son of Thomas (Postman) and Sarah Ann Cracknell. 1901: With his family at 6 Norfolk Villas Peel Road South Woodford. 1911: A Junior Clerk to a Coal Contractor, with his family at “Alvercott” Carnarvon Road South Woodford. Having enlisted in London, he arrived in France on 01-05-15.

On the evening of 21-07-16 the Battalion left Buire in the direction of Fricourt as a reserve for 152 Brigade. From 22/26-07 they camped in the open near to Becourt Chateau, twice relocating to avoid enemy shelling. During the night of 26-07 they moved again, this time to Mametz Wood which was a reserve position, but under almost constant enemy artillery bombardment, including gas shells. Compounding their misery, the trenches were shallow and basic, lacking any meaningful protection against the shell fire. It was noted that 30-07 was a day of terrific enemy fire, which would claim Charles Cracknell. In all, 130 men would be lost to the enemy Gunners over a five day period, while serving in supposedly less exposed “reserve” positions.

Memorial: Rolls of Honour Woodford United Free Church. South Woodford Baptist Church. St Mary’s Church. South Woodford Congregational Church (lost).
Separate Folder: NO.
Principal Sources: Ancestry. Woodford Times. Regimental History.
Qualification: Borough Resident.