Arthur Harry Cragg (1894-1915)

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An ongoing project to commemorate and research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the local area, who served in the military, or whose deaths were linked to conflict.
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Biography

Arthur Harry Cragg was born on 28 June 1894 in Hyde[1], Cheshire, the son of mariner Arthur Robinson Cragg and his wife Annie (née Wood), and was baptised on 26 August 1894 at St. Mark, Huddersfield. At that time, the Cragg family was residing on Somerset Road.

At the time of the 1911 Census, he was boarding at the house of currier John George Lee at West End, Mirfield, and his occupation was recorded as "apprentice (engineer)".

He studied at Huddersfield Technical College where he gained grade 1 passes in mechanical engineering[2] in 1912 and electrical engineering[3] in 1913.

J. Margaret Stansfield's Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 suggests that he was living at Wyngarth on Park Drive, Huddersfield, at the time of enlisting. However, contemporary sources state that the Cragg family home at that point was Fairfield, 25 Lawrence Road, Marsh. Wyngarth was the former residence of local town councillor William Henry Murgatroyd who died in 1912 and Arthur was listed as one of the principal mourners at the funeral. William's widow Harriet was his aunt, so it may be that Arthur occasionally stayed at Wyngarth.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

CRAGG, ARTHUR HARRY. Private. No 2794. 1/5th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Born Newton Moor, Cheshire, 28.6.1894. Son of Captain Arthur Robinson and Annie Cragg of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Educated at Eaton Lodge School and Almondbury Grammar School. Employed as an apprentice at Huddersfield Corporation Electricity Works. At the time of enlistment, was living at 'Wyngarth', Park Drive, Huddersfield. Single. Enlisted September 1914. Embarked for France April, 1915. His father had spent a number of years in Brazil and arrived in England just one hour after his son's troopship had sailed for France. Killed in action, 15.5.1915, aged 20 years. Buried RUE-DAVID MILITARY CEMETERY, FLEURBAIX. Grave location:- Plot 1, Row B, Grave 19.
His parents received a letter from Major Gilbert P. Norton of the 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment, who wrote, 'You will have heard from his Platoon Commander that your son was killed in action on the 15th inst. by a high explosive shell whilst the Germans were bombarding our trenches. He lived for a short time after receiving his wound but the injuries were of such a nature that he could not have suffered any pain and he never regained consciousness. I know that nothing one can say will help to make your loss any lighter but you will like to know that he was very highly thought of by his Officers and his comrades and is a great loss to us all. During the time we were raising 250 recruits in Huddersfield he worked like a slave, filling in forms for recruits and the work could never have been got through without him. It was the same all the time he was a soldier, always willing and always cheerful. I trust you will find some consolation in remembering that he answered the call of his country at a time when she was fighting for her existence and that he died in helping to save Britain from the frightfulness of the German barbarian. He is buried not far behind the trenches and his grave is marked with a neat white cross. His comrades made a wreath of wild flowers and placed it on the grave.'
ROH:- Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield; Almondbury Grammar School; Huddersfield Drill Hall; Huddersfield Corporation Roll.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Extracts

Huddersfield Examiner (19/May/1915):

FATHER AND SON FAIL TO MEET. The fourth man to be killed on Saturday was Private Arthur Harry Cragg, who was an apprentice at the Corporation Electricity Works. Cragg's home was at Fairfield, Lawrence Road, off Heaton Road. He was the son of Captain Cragg, who has spent a long number of years in Brazil, and arrived in this country an hour after the deceased had left for France. It was Captain Cragg's intention to meet his son, and his failure to do so makes his death all the sadder. Young Cragg, who was associated with amateur football in the Huddersfield district, would have been twenty-one years of age had he lived until the 28th of next month.

Huddersfield Examiner (22/May/1915):

PRIVATE A. H. CRAGG'S DEATH.

LETTER FROM MAJOR NORTON.

Captain and Mrs. Cragg, of Fairfield, Lawrence Road, Marsh, have received the following letter from Major Gilbert P. Norton, of the 5th Battalion West Riding Regiment, relative to the death of their son, Private A. H. Cragg:—

"You will have heard from his platoon commander that your son was killed in action on the 15th inst. by a high explosive shell whilst the Germans were bombarding our trenches. He lived for a short time after receiving his wound, but the injuries were of such a nature that he could have suffered no pain, and he never regained consciousness. I know that nothing one can say will help to make your loss any lighter, but you will like to know that he was very highly thought of both by his officers and his comrades, and is a great loss to us all. During the time we were raising 250 recruits in Huddersfield he worked like a slave filling in forms for recruits, and the work could never have been got through without him. It was the same all the time he was a soldier always willing and always cheerful. I trust you will find some consolation in remembering that he answered the call of his country at a time when she was fighting for her existence, and that he died in helping to save Britain from the 'frightfulness' of the German barbarian. He is buried not far behind the trenches, and his grave is marked with a neat white cross. His comrades made a wreath of wild flowers and placed it on his grave."

Links

Locations

Notes and References

  1. The birth appears to have been registered in Ashton under Lyne.
  2. "Huddersfield Technical College" in Huddersfield Examiner (03/Aug/1912).
  3. "Huddersfield Technical College" in Huddersfield Examiner (25/Jul/1913).