Private Herbert Frank Crofts died of wounds on 26th April 1918 whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment. He was 19 years old.
Herbert Frank Crofts – known by his middle name – was born at Castle Bromwich on 9th March 1899 and was baptised at St Mary & St Margaret’s Church in the village on 26th April 1899, exactly 19 years before he died. He was the youngest of the four sons of parents, Joseph and Mary Ann (née Teal) who had married in 1883.
Joseph was a widower with three children – William John (1874-1894), Emma (born 1877) and Alice (born 1879). His first wife, Annie (née Ensor), had died in April 1882, aged 29.
Presumably, Frank joined the Army shortly after his 18th birthday in March 1917. He died at 55 Casualty Clearing Station on 26th April 1918. His next-of-kin was given as his eldest brother, George (born 1884) as his parents had both died – Joseph died in 1900, aged 52, and Mary Ann died in 1915, aged 52.
Private Herbert Frank Crofts is buried at Longpre-les-corps Saints British Cemetery, France. He is also commemorated on Castle Bromwich war memorial (as F. Crofts) and on the roll of honour in St Mary & St Margaret’s Church, Castle Bromwich.
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