Amos crane

Name Amos Crane
Corps Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 1st Battalion, formerly 6th Dragoon. Guards, 1/1st Essex Yeomanry.
Rank Private
Service No. 33054,14793
Date/Place of entry 15 July 1915 Market Harborough
Date of death 1954

Amos was the fifth child and fourth son of farm labourer Charles Crane and his wife Alice Rebecca nee Beadsworth. He grew up with his seven siblings and two Beadsworth half siblings on Corby Road, Cottingham. His Beadsworth grandparents lived nearby; his Crane grandparents died before he was born. Both sets of grandparents had large families so Amos had a considerable number of close relatives in the village.

The 1911 census shows that Amos was working as a groom in Exning near Newmarket. He got married in April of the following year to sixteen year old Rose Lyons, daughter of a retired groom who also lived in Exning.
By this time his brother Thomas had been serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment in India for some years. Their eldest brother Charles had joined the Northamptonshire Regiment 3rd (Territorial) battalion in October 1907 though he was discharged the following July.

Amos himself enlisted at Market Harborough on 15 July 1915, a fortnight before the birth of his second son Arthur. (You cannot help wondering what his wife thought about his timing). He gave his address as Exning and occupation as groom. The attestation document gives his height as five foot one and his weight as one hundred pounds, unusually small even by the standards of the period.

He was initially assigned to the 1/1st Essex Yeomanry, part of the 8th Cavalry Brigade in 3rd Cavalry Division which had been on the Western Front since 1914. We do not know at what point he was sent abroad but he may have been present at the Battle of Loos in late September. The Division was not involved in any major engagements in 1916 and in February 1917 Amos was transferred into another cavalry regiment, the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers). Since October 1914 the 6th had formed part of the 4th Cavalry Brigade in the 2nd Cavalry Division.
The 2nd Cavalry Division was on the Western Front for the whole of the War and took part in many major actions. Amos stayed with the 6th for only a few months so he probably fought at the First Battle of the Scarpe in April. On 24th September however he was again transferred, this time to the 1st Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in the 4th Division, two days before it was involved in the Battle of Polygon Wood (26th Sept – 3rd October). This was swiftly followed by the First Battle of Passchendaele on 12th October.

In 1918 the Division fought in several battles of the Somme 1918 Offensive and was involved in the advance through Flanders and the Battles of the Hindenburg Line. It was demobilised at the start of 1919 but Amos was not discharged until 31 March 1920. He briefly re-joined the army in April 1921, this time enlisting at Newmarket into the 5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment Defence Force, but left again in July.  His daughter Gladys Rose had been born on 1st January.

Amos and Rose had six children in all. He carried on working as a groom and was employed in a racing stables in 1939. He died in 1954 and Rose in 1971.

His brother Thomas fought in the War and it’s likely that some or all of his other four brothers did also, but they cannot be identified among the many other Cranes listed in the Medal Records who have the same given names.  Through his mother Alice Beadsworth he was cousin to Samuel William Booth, Frederick and Albert Oliver, and Harry, George and Frederick Arthur Beadsworth in Nottingham.

In all, thirty men descended from the three Crane families of the early 1800s are known to have served during World War One.