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Crosley Cecil, 2nd/Lt, KIA 16/8/1915

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    Posted: 12 Jun 2012 at 15:22

CROSLEY, Cecil Second Lieutenant 5th Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers

Born: Purley, Surrey (29/10/1892).

Age: 23 Date of Death: 16/08/1915 Cause: Killed in action.

Awards: Mentioned in Despatches. Gen. Sir Jan Hamilton’s Despatch of 11 Dec. 1915 (London Gazette, 28 Jan. 1916).

Family Notes: Son of, John Mechi  and Mary May Crosley, of 5/6, Great Winchester St., London, E.C.2.

Education: Educated at Uppingham School, Rutland and the McGill University, Montreal (to study engineering).


Second Lieutenant Cecil Crosley, 5th Royal Irish Fusiliers, killed in action on August 16, was the younger son of Mr, John M. Crosley of the Stock Exchange. He was educated at McGill University, Montreal, where he was instrumental in introducing and organising the Rugby rules for University matches. He also took a leading part in Canadian Boxing contests.

     The Belfast Evening Telegraph, 24 August 1915.


CROSLEY - Killed in action at the Dardanelles on the 16th Inst. Cecil Crosley, Second Lieutenant 5th Royal Irish Fusiliers, in his 23rd Year, younger son of Mr John M and Mrs Crosley.

                                                                        The Dublin Evening Mail, 26 August 1915.


Crosley Cecil, 2nd Lieut. and Acting Adjutant, 5th (Service) Battn. Royal Irish Fusiliers, formerly 5th Lancers, s. of John Mechi Crosley, of 5-6 Great Winchester Street, E.C., Stockbroker and member of the London Stock Exchange, by his wife, Mary May, dau. of E. Candler of Bexhill; b. Purley, Surrey, 29 Oct. 1892; educ. Uppingham School, and then proceeded to the McGill University, Montreal to study engineering. Abandoning this he, he returned to England in 1`913 and joined his father. He had joined the Reserve of Officers, 23 July, 1913, and on the outbreak of war was given a commission as 2nd Lieut. in the 5th Lancers. Aug. 1914 and trained with them at Dublin.  Being anxious, however, to go to the Front, he transferred to the 5th Royal Irish Fusiliers in May, 1915, and went out to the Dardanelles with them. He took part in the historic landing at Suvla Bay, was appointed Acting Adjutant early in August, and was killed in action at Keretch Tepe on the 16th of that month; unm. Shortly before his death, Lieut.-Gen. B. Mahon wrote: “Your Commanding Officer and Brigade Commander have informed me that you have distinguished yourself by good conduct in the field. I have read their report with much pleasure and have forwarded it to higher authority for recognition;” and Capt E. H. Ilwaine wrote to his father: “From the moment we landed (at Suvla Bay) under shrapnel fire I was struck by your son's coolness. He volunteered to remain beside the barge in which we came ashore, organised a party and unloaded the ammunition and stores in it, although the Turkish gunners had got the range and were shelling it steadily. Whenever I saw him during the few rests we had I found him cheery and apparently quite happy in his work, and I noticed that he had quite obtained the confidence or the men of his platoon, who followed him willingly. Personally I soon learned to put absolute trust in his knowledge and judgment, and he took over the command of the company when I was wounded. Two of our officers who were wounded after I was, both made exactly the same remark to me while on the hospital ship, ‘Crosley is doing good work.’ ” And later (12 Feb. 1916) he wrote again: “I have received a letter from one of our officers—Bennett—who was near your son when he was killed. With the exception of Bennett all the officers present were wounded, went to hospital in Alexandria or Malta, and rejoined the regt. in Serbia direct from hospital. I quote Bennett’s letter. The occasion he refers to is the one mentioned in Sir Ian Hamilton’s despatch, when he says that the 5th Battn. held on to the ridge until only one officer was left, and then retired when ordered to do so from the rear. I might mention that Cecil was appointed Adjutant—after Kelly, the Adjutant, was hit— some days previously. On Monday, 16 Aug., we advanced up a ridge overlooking the Bay of Saros. This ridge was Keritch Tepe Sert, and sloped down to the water’s edge. Our officers going into action were Johnson, Crosley, Bartley, Duggan. Fitzgerald, Blood, Figgis Kidd and myself. Kidd followed B Coy with first half of D, and I followed with the remaining two platoons of D. I met Crosley when we got into position, and he instructed me to send D along to Kidd and take command of B, as both Duggan and Blood had been hit. B Coy. were lining a ridge and firing half left. The remainder were a little ahead and lining the ridge facing inland, also holding a small trench at right angles to the ridge and on the sea side of it. It was in this little trench that Crosley, Hartley, Sergt.-Major Mulligan and many others were killed. I was not actually in this place, but Fitzgerald and Kidd explained it clearly afterwards. Crosley, Hartley and Mulligan were all hit in the head. At about 8.30 p.m. we were instructed that we were to withdraw, and that two naval boats—which had helped us with their fire all day—would commence to shell the enemy at 8.45 p.m. The enemy were on a little knoll and entrenched about 20 or 15 yards in front of the trench we held. We withdrew in good order. Fitzgerald and Kidd were in the little trench all day, and, indeed, Fitzgerald got a bullet through his helmet at the same spot, for it was very closely sniped. Crosley was not up in this position for long, but was passing along the line and learning how matters stood. When I reached the position and was talking to Crosley two aeroplanes were overhead dropping bombs about, and he told us that the fumes from one bomb were all about him as he bandaged up Blood, who was hit in the shoulder. I chatted to him for a time, and he wanted me to take one of his famous automatic pistols, but as I had a rifle I refused. From where we were on to the ridge the ground sloped right to the sea, and this slope was covered with thick scrub, which scrub was fairly fell of snipers, so we had a fire on both sides and plenty of shells. Crosley was, of course, very cheery, and his last word to me was ‘Keep (town and don’t expose yourself. There are all sorts of things flying about here.’ I left him arranging about water and ammunition with Mulligan. I heard from Kelly, in Alexandria, something of how well Crosley had done, and from all he told me I am not surprised to see his name in the Despatch. He would seem to have merited that honour highly. This is the only first hand information I have been able to secure. If I obtain any more I shall forward it to you.” He was mentioned in Gen. Sir Jan Hamilton’s Despatch of 11 Dec. 1915 [London Gazette, 28 Jan. 1916]. At Montreal he was instrumental in introducing and organising Rugby rules for the University football matches and was prominent in boxing, winning the amateur middleweight championship of Canada. On his return to England he became a member of the London Rowing Club, and represented that club in eights at Henley and other Regattas.  

            De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, Part 1, Page 101.


Special Notes: 2nd Lieutenant Crosley is listed on the IWM records as “killed in action, August 16, 1915”; no location is given for his death.

Grave/Memorial:  Panel 178 to 180. Helles Memorial.

Other Memorials: 2nd Lieutenant Crosley is commemorated on the London Stock Exchange War Memorial.

Irish War Memorial Records Page No: Volume II, Page 211.


His entry on the CGWC site may be viewed here:,%20CECIL

Edited by Mal Murray - 08 May 2015 at 14:03
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