Lennox Crossley


Corporal 14854, 8th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Killed in Action 27th August 1917 aged 23

No Known Grave Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Son of Aaron and Sarah Crossley

Lived 15, Beauregard Street, Heckmondwike

Lennox was born on 30 March 1894 to Aaron and Sarah Jane Crossley. Aaron was from Batley and had enlisted in the 1st Dragoon Guards when he was 18 years old. After service in India he left the Army with the rank of Corporal around 1889. He and Sarah (née Crowther) married in Birstall in 1891 and later that year the couple were living in Gomersal. On 6 April 1900 when he was 41 Aaron re-enlisted in the Dragoon Guards and in 1901 the family were living in Brunswick Road, Sheffield, not far from Hillsborough Barracks. By 1911 the family were back in this area at 15, Beauregard Street, Heckmondwike. Sarah and Aaron had seven children by this time: Vernal (19); Hilda (18); Lennox (17); Emma (14); Arnold (13); Doris (11) and Joseph (9). The two youngest children were at school, Sarah was at home and all the rest of the family worked in textiles. Towards the end of 1912 Aaron died aged 54.

Lennox volunteered for the Army in November 1914 and went to France in 1915, probably with the 2nd Battalion and at some point transferred to the 8th Battalion. His address around this time was 1a, Brighton Street, Heckmondwike. In 1917 his mother Sarah died. By August 1917 the Third Battle of Ypres (often simply called ‘Passchendaele’) was underway. In mid-August the Battalion moved from their camp near Poperinghe towards the front lines on the Northern flank of the Ypres salient. On 27 August 1917 this experienced, hardened Battalion attacked the German position known as the Pheasant Trench, part of the Wilhelm Line. After some initial success the Battalion came under heavy machine gun fire and sustained heavy losses, one of whom was Lennox. An informal local truce followed the attack to allow casualties to be recovered, but Lennox has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Panel 82 to 85 and 162A.

The Cleckheaton and Spenbough Guardian in its obituary said that Lennox was to return to England in September 1917 to train for a Commission. In October 1917 Lennox’s outstanding pay and allowances were divided between six family members: each received 5s 10d. Sister Emma was sent the £14 War Grant on 24 December 1919. Two of Lennox’s brothers served in the Army. Vernal, 38131, served abroad with the Yorkshire Regiment. An indication of the willingness of young men to volunteer, and the pressure on those doing the recruitment can be seen in the records for Arnold. He volunteered as Private 4160 in the 2/5th West Riding Regiment on 25 May 1915. His fitness was assessed as ‘good’ and his age recorded as 19 years 6 months. When he was medically discharged on 11 August 1916 his record shows a more accurate age of 18, and that he had suffered from rickets* from infancy. Both Vernal and Arnold survived the War and are listed on the Heckmondwike Roll of Honour.{AG-030}

*Rickets affects bone development in children. It causes the bones to become soft and weak. A lack of vitamin D or calcium is the most common cause.

Our thanks to Lennox's great nephew, Alan Jones, for allowing us to use the picture.

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