Sunday, November 02, 2014

8002 Private Sydney Crowhurst, 17th Lancers

Douglas Sydney Crowhurst appears on the 1901 census living at 2, Cromwell Cottages, Clayton, with his family.  The household comprised John Crowhurst, head, aged 41, born at Pulborough, working as a Breadmaker/Baker. His wife Ann Crowhurst (nee Errington), aged 29, born at Walworth in London and their six children: John Crowhurst (aged ten, born in Pulborough, Sussex), Arthur Crowhurst (aged nine, born in Leigh, Kent), Douglas (aged eight, also born in Leigh), Hilda Crowhurst, (aged five, born in Hassocks), Ivy Crowhurst (aged four, also born in Hassocks) and Mary Marguerite Crowhurst (aged one, born at Burgess Hill). The children's maternal grandmother, Mary Errington (aged 72) was also at the house when the census was taken. 

Chailey Parish Magazine first notes Sydney Crowhurst in October 1914, stating simply that he is serving his King and Country. By October 1915 he is recorded as Crowhurst, Pte S, 17th Lancers and in January 1916 the additional information that he is in France is noted.  Three months later, in April 1916, the parish magazine records that he has been invalided, and in May 1916 that he is back in England. 

Sydney appears for the last time in the parish magazine in November 1916 where it is noted that he has been invalided and discharged.
Surviving papers in WO 364 confirm that Sydney attested at Roeheath, Chailey on the 3rd September 1914. Charles Hext Cotesworth of the 21st Lancers witnessed the attestation and William Greaves Cotesworth, Charles's father, authorised the attestation. Sydney was 22 years and five months old and working as a footman.
In actual fact, Sydney never served overseas. His papers indicate that he was discharged on 31st July 1915 as a result of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and served all his 331 days in England. A note by the Medical Board earlier that month states, "Result of ordinary military services. Was not strong enough to stand military training." Two years later, at the age of 25, it would be heart failure which would kill him.
My thanks to Geoff Hards for sending me the photo of Sydney and his family which dates to around 1910.

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