WILLIAM CRANE

Private 22430, 6th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment

Died 17th July 1916 aged 34

No Known Grave Commemorated Shaikh Saad Old Cemetery Memorial, Amara War Cemetery, Iraq

Husband of Alice Ann Crane

Lived 55, Heckmondwike Road, Heckmondwike


William, born in 1882, was the son of Charles Henry and Lucy Ann Crane who lived on Hollinbank Lane.  Charles, who was from Doncaster, was a Brewer and William followed in his footsteps working as a Maltster for Sutcliffe’s of Liversedge before the war.  William married Alice Ann Antcliffe who was from Liversedge in 1901 and they had eight children, the last one of whom was born posthumously in 1916.

William enlisted in the East Lancashire Regiment on August 22nd 1915, his brother Ernest joined the Lancashire Fusiliers - he was wounded in action but survived the war.

William served in Mesopotamia.  The 6th (Service) Battalions of the East Lancashire, South Lancashire and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments landed at Basra in March 1916.  They formed part of the 38th (Lancashire) Infantry Brigade of the 13th (Western) Division of Kitchener’s New Army.

Thousands fought their way to Baghdad in the Mesopotamian Campaign and around 1,239 of them lie there still.  With temperatures regularly exceeding 50 degrees Centigrade, death and illness from heat-stroke were common and dysentery, malaria and other tropical diseases endemic.  William Crane was one of those who succumbed to the conditions; he died from the effects of heat leaving his wife and six surviving children.  William was buried in Shaikh Saad Old Cemetery but the headstones were all removed in 1933 as they were deteriorating in the sand and a screen wall was erected on which the names of the fallen are recorded.
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