CROFT, THOMAS ROSSALL 12380 Guardsman 2nd Battalion 3rd Grds Bde Grds Div
THE SCOTS GUARDS
Born Preston Enlisted Preston Living Leyland
Killed in Action France / Flanders 17 October 1915
Ref: ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919’, Part 5.
Chorley Weekly News Sat. 30th October 1915
Reports the death of Pte Tom Croft, aged 27, at the Battle of Loos, 27th September 1915.
Preston Guardian Sat. 30th October 1915
Reports the death of Pte Tom Croft of Bradshaw Street, Leyland, at Loos. 27 years of age, he was married and leaves 3 young children. He joined the army 30th November 1914. He attended Leyland Parish Church and worked at the Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Works.
Leyland St. Andrew’s Parish Magazine November 1915
‘We have heard with much regret of the death in action of Thomas Croft, Scots Guards, who was a regular and faithful member of our Bradshaw Street Men’s Class.’
A Memorial Inscription is on the family grave in Leyland St. Andrew’s Churchyard:-
Thomas Rossall Croft Killed in Action Sept. 19th, 1915 Aged 28 years. Son of Henry and Ellen Croft.
Thomas Croft’s name appears on the following memorials:-
War Memorial, Church Road, Leyland
Mural Plaque in St. Andrew’s, Leyland
Scots Guards Memorial, Edinburgh Castle.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
With no known grave, Thomas Croft is commemorated on the:-
LOOS MEMORIAL, FRANCE
The Scots Guards are commemorated on Panel Nos. 8 and 9. Husband of A. Croft, 7 Spring Gardens, Leyland. The Loos Memorial is in Loos-en-Gohelle, a village about 5 km north-west of Lens. The Memorial is located within Dud Corner Cemetery.
Note 1:- In the records used Tom Croft’s middle name appears with three different spellings: in Soldiers Died as ‘Russall’; in the C.W.G.C. index as ‘Russell’, and on the family grave as Rossall
– I have taken the latter as correct.
Note 2:- Again, in the records, we have three different dates of death: the family grave has it as 19th September 1915; the Chorley Weekly News as 27th Sept. 1915, but the Soldiers Died and C.W.G.C. index agree on 17th October 1915.
Using Capt. James ‘Records’ it is clear that the Guards Division were engaged in the Battle of Loos (25th Sept-8th Oct. 1915), and later at the actions at the Hohenzollern Redoubt (13th-19th Oct. 1915). Despite the local records, taking the undoubted accuracy of Soldiers Died and the C.W.G.C. index into account, I have taken their date (17th Oct. 1915) as correct.
Croft, Thomas Rossall. WE Waring 2003