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