WW1 Francis (Frank) Ernest Crowhurst (60080)

Crowhurst's and Wood [1]

Francis Ernest Crowhurst was born on 25 November 1886 to Samuel George Crowhurst and Catherine Elizabeth Crowhurst (Breen). They lived at 24 Eden Street Newmarket Auckland.

He was one of five sons who served in WW1, three of whom died. They were Arthur Frederick Livingstone Crowhurst (24/99) died; Francis Ernest Crowhurst (60080) killed in action, and Samuel Alfred Crowhurst (12/1933) killed in action, and two other brothers fought and returned to New Zealand Leslie Upton Clifford Crowhurst (60081), Victor Roy Crowhurst (12/1934).

On his enlistment on 18 June 1917, Frank was employed as a driver for J. Dempsey, who was an Auckland City Councillor at the time. Francis Ernest Crowhurst was 5ft 10 inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair and was assigned to the 30th Reinforcements, Auckland Infantry Regiment, A Company, New Zealand Expeditionary Force as a Private.

He sailed from Wellington on 13 October 1917, arriving at Liverpool, England on 8 December 1917 on the vessel Corinthic. He left for France on 14 February 1918 for Somme, Northern France, and then on 4 April 1918 he was transferred to the 1st Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment. The New Zealand Division helped blunt the German Spring Offensive which were a series of attacks along the Western Front beginning on 21 March 1918. The Germans realised it was a chance to try to defeat the Allies before the might of the United States could be fully deployed. The Spring Offensive was unsuccessful but there were huge casualties on both sides.

Francis Ernest Crowhurst was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme on 20 April 1918. He received the British War Medal and Victory Medal He is buried at Bertrancourt Military Cemetery, Somme, France, Grave reference, Plot 2. Row A. Grave 2.

Francis Ernest Crowhurst is also remembered on the following memorials

• Family grave memorial, St Mark’s Churchyard (Anglican), 95 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand

• Newmarket War Memorial, Olympic Park, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand

• The Borough of Newmarket War Memorial, Auckland Council Archives