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  • Photograph published on 2nd January 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
15 Oct 1894
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
The census gives William's place of birth as Dronfield. William was the son of Daniel and Louisa Croft. Daniel was born in Bedworth, Warwickshire, on 4 September 1864 (baptised 25 April 1865, Bedworth), the son of Horatio and Harriett Croft. They later moved to Nottingham and in 1881 the family was living at 8 Ledger's Yard, Radford, Nottingham. Daniel married Louisa Radford (b. Epperstone, Notts) in Nottingham in 1883 and according to the 1911 census had 10 children born alive of whom only seven were still living at the time of the census. Only six children were listed in the family home on the three census from 1891-1911: Arthur (1884), Percy (1888), Gerty (1891), William (1894), Herbert (1900) and Ernest (1902). In 1891 Daniel and Louisa (29) and two children, Arthur (7) and Percy (2), were living at 3 Ledger Gardens, Radford. By 1901 they had moved to 16 Woodville Place, Bloomsgrove Street, Radford; five children were in the household, Arthur (17), Percy (12), Gerty (9), William (6) and Herbert (1). They had moved again by the time of the 1911 census when they were living at 6 Regent Place, Bloomsgrove Street, Radford. Percy (22), Gerty (19), William (16), Herbert (11) and Ernest (9) were in the household on the night of the census. William joined the Royal Navy two years later in March 1913. When the Royal Navy notified William's mother of his death in 1916 her address was given as 3 Booth's Yard, Bloomsgrove Street. The CWGC record shows that William's mother was a widow, living at 50 Bloomsgrove Street, Radford. Daniel had probably died in 1922, aged 50. Louisa died in Nottingham in 1937 aged 76.
In 1911 William was a tin smith in an ironmonger's shop. When he joined the Royal Navy in 1913 his occupation was given as beer maker.
26 Oct 1916
22
2876349 - CWGC Website
SS/113963
Stoker 1st Class
Royal Navy
William joined the Royal Navy when he was 18 on a 12 year engagement (5+7 years). He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory II 13 May 1913-28 October 1913 (Stoker 2nd Class); Dido II, 29 October 1913-31 December 1913; Attentive II (Flirt), 1 January 1914-26 October 1916 (Stoker 1st Class 13 March 1914). Record annotated ‘NP 502/17. DD 26 October 1916. Killed in action.' Croft's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. HMS Flirt was a Star Class destroyer (1897) which was assigned to the Dover Patrol. In October 1916 HMS Flirt was in the Dover Strait, protecting a line of anti-submarine drifters. The captain had lowered a boat to recover bodies which had been seen in the water and had used searchlights to aid the rescue. The flotilla was then attacked by German destroyers; six drifters were sunk and Flirt was hit by a torpedo and sank quickly. Over 40 crew lost their lives, the only survivors being two men who had been crewing the rescue boat. The incident is known as the Battle of Dover Strait (26-27 October 1916).
Nottingham Evening Post 'In Memoriam' (abridged) 2 January 1917: 'W CROFT, HMS Flirt, 50 Bloomsgrove Street, Nottingham, lost at sea October 27th age 22.'
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph published on 2nd January 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    William Croft - Photograph published on 2nd January 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918