Shot at dawn

‘Shot at Dawn’ - The life and death of Private James Crampton

My interest in the controversial issues arising from the execution of British soldiers during the Great War of 1914-18 had initially been kindled during the reading of an extract from William Moore’s ‘The Thin Yellow Line’, which had been featured under the heading of ‘Parliament ponders the death sentence’, in the December 2001 issue of the magazine; ‘The Great War’ [1]

Alas my local library did not have a copy of the book which had been featured in the article but I was able to secure a copy of the splendid but harrowing, ‘Shot at Dawn’ by Messrs Putkowsky and Sykes, which chronicles the demise of all 351 men and in some instances boys who had died at the hands of a firing squad. Unlike Mr Moore’s book, ‘Shot at Dawn’ names the men who had been executed, something which had never been done prior to the books publication in 1989, a year before the release by the Ministry Of Defence of the until then, classified information relating to the soldiers court martials. [2]

I have been engaged for some years in research into the lives of a number of men from Scarborough who had died during the war prior to reading the book, and during that time I had never come across any information relating to a soldier from the town who had been a victim of ‘Military Justice’, the authors however had included in their text information which inferred that a man from the town had indeed been shot for desertion on the fourth of February 1917.

Never having heard or read of a man from Scarborough dying from the bullets of a firing squad I had doubted the authenticity of the information supplied by the authors, and had applied to the registrar of Birth’s, Marriages, and Death’s at Harrogate for a copy of the man’s birth certificate based on the information contained in their book, half expecting to hear no more. To my astonishment I had subsequently received a birth certificate bearing the name of the man, who had indeed been born in Scarborough, and was aged as described in the book. This discovery had prompted me into obtaining a copy of the soldier’s court martial proceedings from the Public Records Office at Kew. The court transcript written in longhand does not make pleasant reading, and is in my opinion, a terrible testimony of a powerful armies appalling treatment of a defenceless soldier, a story that for eighty five years has remained shrouded in darkness, which I feel now needs to be shown the light of day. [3]

The soldier had been 34595 Private James Crampton, who had been serving with the 9TH Battalion of the York and Lancaster until his death at the age of forty years in the early hours of Sunday the fourth of February 1917.

Born at Scarborough on the twenty second of April 1877 at No 14 Brook Square, James had been the youngest son of Elizabeth and George Crampton, who according to his son’s birth certificate had been a ‘stonemason’ Parentless from an early age, James along with brothers Harry and George, and sister Clara] had been brought up in Scarborough by elder brother and sister Charles, and Ann [born in the town 1863, and 1867 respectively], and by 1891 had been employed as ‘a moulder’. However, during 1901 Crampton’s name had not been included in the Census records of Scarborough. Which indicates that by this time he had either moved to another part of the country, or, as believed by the author, had been serving in South Africa with the British Army, which may have been the reason he had been an Army Reservist by the outbreak of war in 1914. [4]

Reportedly also a married man by 1914, Crampton had re-enlisted into the Yorkshire Regiment during September that year where he had been issued with the service number of 8245. Joining his regiment at their depot in Richmond, North Yorkshire, Crampton had been posted to the then forming 6TH Battalion, one of the many Infantry Battalions of the burgeoning Kitcheners ‘New Army’.

After training at Richmond Private Crampton had then moved in late August with his battalion to Belton Park, near Grantham in Lincolnshire, where the unit had joined the 32ND Infantry Brigade of the 11TH [Northern] Division, under the Command of Major General Hammersley. In April 1915, following further training at Witley and Frensham in Hampshire the 11TH division had received their orders to make ready to proceed abroad, many I suspect had imagined that they were bound for France, they were however destined to make their debut in the war in the far off Dardanelles campaign, perhaps better known today as Gallipoli.

The Division had begun its embarkation at Liverpool on the thirtieth of June 1915 when the division had left the port in the two large Troopships, Aquitania, and the Empress of Britain. Following their arrival at the British base at the Greek Island of Imbros late in July, and with very little time given to acclimatise to the scorching heat the Division had boarded motor lighters on the sixth of August and that night they had taken part in the assault landings at Suvla Bay. With little idea of where they were or the task they were to undertake the untried in battle 6TH Yorks had landed at ‘B’ Beach at Nibrunesi Point, and by midnight had somehow overran the Turkish positions at the Point and also at Lala Bala but in doing so had suffered severe casualties, especially amongst the officers. [This minor action was the first attack made by any unit of Kitcheners New Army].

Throughout the remainder of August the Division had taken part in many of the places made infamous during the bitter fighting which had taken place on the Peninsular, Sari Blair, Russell’s Top, Chocolate Hill, Karakoi Dagh, Scimitar Hill and Hill 60.

Following the fighting in August a stalemate situation had developed on the peninsula and the 11TH Division had settled into holding positions within the Suvla Bay defences, here they had remained until December 1915. Having by then suffered seventy five percent battle casualties, and probably a hundred percent casualties to sickness [it can safely presumed that at some point during his service at Gallipoli James Crampton had suffered, as everyone on the peninsula had at some stage from the effects of dysentery, and perhaps sunstroke, his medical record however was never to be produced during his court martial] the sorely depleted and worn out 6TH Yorkshire Regiment and the remainder of 11TH Division had boarded lighters on the night of the 19-20TH of December which had taken them from their terrible home of four months to the relative paradise of Imbros, where James and his remaining comrades had celebrated Christmas and New Year 1915-16.

On the second and third of February 1916 the 6TH Yorks had moved to the port of Mudros, where the battalion had once again boarded the troopship Empress of Britain which had transported them to an ‘unknown destination’ which had eventually turned out to be Egypt, the Yorkshiremen disembarking at Alexandria in the afternoon of the seventh of February 1916 from where they had made their way to a camp at a place named Sidi Bishr, their home for the next few days.

Following the closing down of the Gallipoli campaign the majority of the British and Dominion troops who had subsequently been evacuated from the peninsula had been sent to Egypt by the British Government in anticipation of an attack by the Turkish Army on Egypt and the priceless Suez Canal, the 6TH Yorks had been sent to reinforce the defence of the canal and also to recuperate and await the arrival of reinforcements that were needed by the unit for the grievous losses the battalion had suffered during the campaign.

At the time the defence of the Suez Canal had been divided into three sectors, Number One Section [Southern] was responsible for Suez to Kalbrit, Number Two for Kalbrit to Ferdan, and Number Three [Northern] from Ferdan to Port Said. It was to the latter that the 6TH Yorkshire Regiment had eventually been assigned to and on the twelfth of March the battalion had boarded trains which had taken them to El Ferdan, a rail stop on the east bank of the canal, from there the men marching to a camp a half a mile away from the station.

It was whilst the Battalion had been at El Ferdan that James Crampton had first fallen foul of Military law when he had been brought before his Commanding Officer, [Major C.G. Forsyth D.S.O.] on the seventh of May 1916 on a charge of ‘while on active service, Drunkenness’. He had been found guilty as charged and had been given a sentence of fourteen days ‘Field Punishment No1’, a punishment which not only entailed extra fatigues, some times in handcuffs, but also the added humiliation of ‘crucifixion’ where he may have been tied hands and feet in a spread-eagled fashion to the wheel of a supply wagon for two hours a day. His conduct sheet shows that this had been his only offence up until his court martial.

The men of the 6TH Yorks had eventually been sent into the desert to dig a line of defence and it was during this period that James Crampton had undergone a change in behaviour. He had begun isolate himself from the rest of the men, and had been noticed to go off alone at night to sleep in the desert. The threat of a Turkish invasion of Egypt had eventually subsided and the divisions that had been sent there had by June 1916 received the reinforcements necessary to bring them up to war strength. With the proposed offensive on the Somme about to begin, many of them, including the 11TH Division had received orders in this month to embark for France, the 6TH Yorkshire Regiment leaving the port of Alexandria in the Troopship Arcadian on the 26TH.

Arriving at Marseilles in the afternoon of the opening day of the battle of the Somme, Saturday the first of July 1916, the battalion had then boarded trains that had hurried the still sun -soaked unit northwards to the western front, and eventually into the inferno of the battle of the Somme.

Upon its arrival at the front the 6TH Yorks had been billeted near Arras in Northern France. However a short while after arriving there James Crampton had joined a draft of men destined to be sent as replacements to the battered 9TH [Service] Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment.

One of the many battalions of infantry of Kitcheners third ‘New Army’ it had been formed at Pontefract in the West riding of Yorkshire in September 1914.With this in mind it may be presumed the battalion had been composed predominantly of men from the West Riding of Yorkshire and not the men from the north of the county, with whom Private Crampton would be more familiar, an element which may have played a crucial part in the events which would eventually unfold.

Crampton had joined his new battalion on the Somme [with the service number 34595] on Wednesday the twelfth of July 1916, at the time the unit was serving in the 70TH Infantry Brigade which had been temporarily attached to the regular army 8TH Division, And had already seen much action during the twelve days old Somme Offensive especially at Ovillers where the unit had lost many men to enemy machine gun fire on the first day of the offensive. A few days later however, [the seventeenth] the Brigade had rejoined its original formation, the 23RD Division.

Throughout the remainder of July and early August1916 Crampton and the remainder of 9TH York and Lancaster had been stationed in various sectors of the Somme front. Baizieux Wood on the 21st, Shelter Wood on the 25TH, the front line at Contalmaison on the 27TH, Becourt Wood 1ST of August, and finally Franvillers on the 7TH of August. On the 11TH of August Crampton and his muddy comrades had finally been afforded a well-earned rest away from the carnage of the Somme when the 9TH York and Lancs had entrained at Frechencourt to be transported to ‘rest and refit’ in the Armentieres Sector of Northern France

By Wednesday August the sixteenth the 9TH York and Lancs had been living in dugouts near the village of Ploegstaert in the Ypres Sector in Belgium, where the division had been allocated to the Tenth Corps of Second Army. On that day Private Crampton and another man had been detailed by their Company Sergeant Major to report to the Royal Engineers for work on a nearby light railway which had been used to carried ammunition and supplies to the nearby front line. In the event the two men had not been required for work that day and the Engineers had informed the CSM that they had been sent back to their unit. At 9pm that night the customary Roll Call had been taken and James Crampton had been noted as missing.

[Following James Crampton’s disappearance the 9TH York and Lancaster had returned to the Somme Sector to eventually take part in an attack on the village of Le Sars. During this action [on the 1ST of October 1916] the Battalion had suffered over one hundred and fifty casualties].

Nothing more of Private Crampton had been heard until Friday the seventeenth of November 1916 when the wayward soldier had been apprehended at a house in Armentieres. Still dressed in khaki, Crampton had however thrown away the rest of his equipment and removed from his tunic all forms of military identification. Private Crampton had subsequently been handed over to the Military Police who had kept him under guard at the Town Hall in Armentieres until an escort had arrived from the 9TH York and Lancs four days later which had taken him back to his unit to await punishment.

Unlike the previous infringement of military conduct that James Crampton had committed, which in comparison had been of a fairly minor nature and dealt with by his commanding officer, the far more serious charge of desertion, a capital offence under Military Law which carried the death penalty could only be tried by Courts Martial, of which, during the great war there had been four types. Regimental, District, General, and Field General. A Regimental Court Martial had dealt with minor offences and the District Courts martial could only give a maximum sentence of two years, which had left the General and Field General. From what I can gather General Courts Martials were formal and complicated affairs of the military judicial system and were therefore far less used than the Field General Courts Martial which basically were used to save time and the detention of valuable officers whose services were required elsewhere. It was before one of the latter that the case of the Military versus Private James Crampton [for some reason James’s surname had been given as Grampton throughout the proceedings] had been heard.

The order to assemble a F.G.C.M. had been made by Brigadier General H.Gordon, the commanding officer of the 70TH Infantry Brigade on the nineteenth of January; the court had duly sat at Ypres, [presumably at the Headquarters of 90TH Brigade] on Tuesday the twenty third of January 1917. Presiding had been a Major G.L.Pyman of the 8TH Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and the statutory three officers sitting in judgement had been Captain E.V.Price of the 9TH York and Lancs, Lieutenant E.W.Barcliff of the 11TH Sherwood Foresters, [both from 70TH Infantry Brigade] and Captain O.F.Dowson of the Army Service Corps.

The charge had been; ‘When on active service deserting his Majesty’s service’, James’s plea had been, the automatic as in all capital cases; ‘Not Guilty’, on the grounds of mental illness. In cases of this gravity it was customary for soldiers being ‘court martialled’ to be offered the services of ‘a soldiers friend’, an officer who could if wished speak on the mans behalf, as far as I know no one had represented the unfortunate James Crampton.

The prosecution had called five witnesses. The first had been James’s Company Sergeant Major who had related the story of him being detailed for work with the Royal Engineers and his subsequent disappearance back in August. The second man to testify had been the Sergeant who had called the roll on the night of August 17TH and had found Crampton to be absent.

The third witness had been a Private Goulding who had been detailed with Private Crampton for work with the R.E.’s who had stated that they had reported to the railhead but had been told upon their arrival that they would not be required for work that day. In the evening at about 5pm the witness had seen the accused go out from the dugout near Ploegstaert with another Private [Corker] whom he had later seen return alone. He had not seen Crampton again until three months later. The fourth witness had been a Lieutenant A.A.Chapman of the New Zealand Pioneers, who had said that following the reading of a statement which had been made by his batman he had sent a sergeant to the house in Armentieres where the sergeant had apprehended the accused.

The officer had then gone on to say that Crampton had been dressed in khaki and was without equipment or any badges. He had then examined the accused paybook and in consequence of this and a statement that the soldier had made he had handed him over to the military police. The fifth witness had been the military policeman who had taken James into custody, Corporal W.Mason had related how the accused had been brought to him at the Mairie in Armentieres at about 4pm on November 17TH 1916 by Lieutenant Chapman, he had then detained the accused until an escort from his unit had arrived four days later.

At this point in the Courts Martial James Crampton had been asked by the court if he had wished to make a statement in his defence, unbelievably he had chosen to say nothing. The case for the defence had therefore rested solely on one statement from a soldier relating to the character of Private Crampton. This witness had been Lance Corporal E.Guymen of the 9TH York and Lancs, who had served with Crampton in 6TH Yorks since January 1916 and had served with him in Egypt. He had stated that the general opinion of the men who had come into contact with the accused had been that he had; ’gone in his head’, and as a result he had been excused all parades and put on permanent fatigues. The witness had then gone on to relate how James Crampton had often gone off for no apparent reason to sleep the night alone in the desert, and how he had ‘kept to himself very much’.

The court had then recalled Company Sergeant Major G. Oldfield, the first witness in the trial. He had stated under oath that he had known the accused for about a month prior to August 17TH and had not noticed anything ‘peculiar’ about him, and that he had carried out in a normal way any orders that had been given to him.

That had almost the end of the trial, except for a short statement, which had been made in writing by Private Crampton that at this point had been read out to the panel of officers;

‘There is no one here who knows me. I was in the Army before the war. I re-enlisted in August 1914. I always show a good character and there is nothing against me during my war service’ - the trial was at an end; there would be no pleas for clemency or leave to appeal.

Following the Courts Martial James Crampton had been sent back to his regiment to await his fate, unknowing that it had already been decided by the court, their verdict, Guilty with no recommendations for mercy, his fate death. The wheels of military justice had then been set in motion to carry the sentence out. Before he had been executed however, the findings of the court had to go through the bureaucratic channels of military red tape to be verified by an army chain of command that would end at the desk of the Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force himself, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig.

The papers relating to the court martial had arrived on the desk of the commander of 70TH infantry Brigade [Brigadier General H. Gordon] the following day, who after reading through the proceedings had recommended that James Crampton be granted mercy if it had been found by a medical examination that he was indeed insane or ‘mentally unsound’ and if he was not that the ‘extreme penalty’ be carried out, his reasons being;

[a]. ‘The plea of mental deficiency is one that is easy to put forward and difficult to disprove’

[b].’Two recent charges of desertion in the Brigade were not upheld and ‘absence’ was the finding’

A report by the C.O. of the 9TH York and Lancs [Lieutenant Colonel R. Ratliffe] had also accompanied the above chilling recommendation. It had related to the fighting qualities of James Crampton of which the officer had known nothing and had gone on to say that the man ‘never seemed to understand quite what he was doing’, and was, in the opinion of his officers, mentally deficient. In addition he [Crampton] had always been ‘a source of trouble, never seeming to understand the most simple instructions given him, and being of a very forgetful nature he was always very reserved among the men and preferred to be alone’.

Private Crampton had been ‘examined’ by order of the General Officer Commanding 23RD Division [Major General J.M. Babington] by a panel of two Doctors from the Royal Army Medical Corps on the 27TH of January 1917 their findings had been; ‘That he is of sound mind. There is no evidence that he was of unsound mind when he committed the crime for which he has been tried by Field General Courts Martial’. The Doctors report, court martial papers, and recommendations had then been forwarded for confirmation successively to the Headquarters of Tenth Corps, 23RD Division, Second Army, and eventually General Headquarters where the Judge Advocates Office had scrutinised the proceedings and reports placed before them for any abnormalities of military justice, finding none and agreeing with the courts findings they had then passed the buck to the office of the Commander in Chief, Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, who had driven the final nail into the coffin of James Crampton by signing his death warrant on Monday February the first 1917.

The penultimate stage in the macabre proceedings had been the promulgation, or circulation of the fate of James Crampton, every unit of the British Army had learnt of it through their Routine General Orders issued for the day of Saturday the third of February 1917. Up until this moment James may have been unaware of his fate and kept under open arrest with the 9TH York and Lancs. On that day however the whole Battalion had probably been paraded, with James standing before his comrades to learn his fate. Apart from publicly humiliating him, informing him this way was also supposedly to act as a deterrent to any other men who may have harboured any notions of deserting His Majesty’s service.

Following promulgation the condemned James Crampton had been led away under escort by the Army Provost Marshal and taken away to a place to await execution.

Military procedure dictated that as Private Crampton had deserted from the 9TH York and Lancaster Regiment so it was the Battalions task to punish him. Preparations to do away with their errant soldier may have been going ahead for some time before the execution had become common knowledge; their War Diary however mentions nothing of any proceedings. It was the common practice for the condemned man’s unit to provide everything needed to carry the sentence out, from the rope used to tie the victim to the execution post or in some cases a chair [which also had to be provided] to the provision of the firing squad, which had in all probability consisted of an officer, an NCO and perhaps ten very reluctant riflemen, and in addition the Battalion’s Medical Officer, and a couple of men who had been given the odious duty of grave digging and finally the disposal of the body.

How James Crampton had spent his last night is not recorded. He may have spent some of his time writing a last letter to his wife and children, and as it was usual for an army chaplain to be in attendance during the final hours he may have taken solace from him. He may also have taken comfort from a bottle of rum that I believe had in some cases been placed at the disposal of a condemned man.

Just as it was getting light on Sunday the Fourth of February 1917 James Crampton had been taken from the cells at the Mairie, or town hall of Poperinghe to the place of his execution, an adjoining courtyard, where he had been tied with his arms behind his back and by the ankles to the execution post. A blindfold had then been placed over his eyes and a piece of white cloth or paper had been pinned on his left tunic breast pocket.

Up until this time the firing party had probably stood at ease with their backs to their victim, with the preparations over the assembled men had probably then been brought to the attention and ‘about turned’ by their officer. Imagine what the feelings were of those probably reluctant executioners who had been confronted with the terrible sight of one of their own, tied up and blindfold helplessly alone waiting in terror for his comrades to kill him.

The officer had then ordered the firing squad with a pre arranged silent signal to bring their weapons to the ready. With trembling hands the shooting party had worked the bolts of their Lee Enfield rifles which had brought the single .303 cartridge into the breech of their weapons [to ease the conscience of two soldiers two of the weapons, which had been loaded by the officer before the execution, had probably contained no ammunition or a blank cartridge].

At another prearranged signal there had been a unanimous boom of rifle fire, the body of James Crampton had crumpled to the ground almost instantaneously.

At this point the 9TH Battalion’s Medical Officer had stepped over to the body in search of a heartbeat, the commander of the firing squad was at this point probably hoping that James was dead because if there were any signs of life it would be his grisly duty to give the ‘coup de grâce’ with a bullet from his revolver. It was duly recorded that the sentence had been carried out at Poperinghe at 6-40 am on February 4TH 1917.

The ghastly drama was now at an end, the firing party had been returned to the regiment to tell of their terrible experience, all that remained was the removal and burial of a now lifeless body. The body of James Crampton had been hastily wrapped in an army blanket and buried without ceremony in a burial ground on the outskirts of Poperinghe now known as Poperinghe New Military Cemetery, in Section 2, Plot B, Grave 14. James Crampton had been the tenth of eighteen men executed who had been executed during the war at Poperinghe whose remains are interred in the Cemetery [For many years James Crampton’s Grave marker in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery had borne the incorrect name of ‘Grampton’. However, due to the intervention of the author and many others, by 2009 this has been altered to include his correct name],

After the war His Majesty’s Stationary Office had produced a large series of books under the title; ’Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-1919’, which in seventy four volumes lists by regiment the names of the men who had died during the war, and nowhere in part 61, which covers the casualties of the York and Lancaster Regiment, does the name of James Crampton appear. This was due to an order, which had been made by the War Office when the volumes were being compiled, forbidding the inclusion of the names of the men who had been executed during the war.

Having shown no compassion or clemency towards her husband, the military were equally brutal with the treatment of Mrs Crampton. Following her husbands execution she would have been informed that he had been executed for desertion on the date as stated, [it was not until late 1917 that the relatives of executed men were informed that they had ‘died on service’] and had lived the rest of her life with the stigma of being the wife of a deserter who had been shot by his own army. In those days the reading of casualty lists was a ritual of British life, and James’s name would never have been included in the daily lists of the local men, killed, wounded, and missing, so how could she have mourned a husband who’s name had not appeared without arousing suspicion? In addition she would not have received a penny in recompense for a husband killed in the war, neither would she receive the medals and other paraphernalia which had been received by all the other widows, and next of kin from a grateful King and Queen in exchange for a husband, son, or father who had died whilst on active service during the War of 1914-1919.

The place of execution of at least seventeen British soldiers, the courtyard belonging to Poperinge’s Town Hall has now become a tourist attraction. The cells where Crampton and the other condemned Britishers have been restored and provide an eerie insight into the place where they had spent their last few hours of life. In addition, outside in the courtyard an execution post marks the spot where Crampton and his lost companions had breathed their last few gasps of air before their deaths to British bullets. Nearby an inscription reads;

‘In this courtyard a number of British soldiers were executed by the firing squad between 1916 and 1919. Most of them were sentenced to death because of desertion as a result of shellshock…their fate symbolises the inhumanities of war’

Close by another inscription reads -
‘The Coward’ I could not look on death,
Which being known,
Men led me to him,
Blindfold and alone’…
Rudyard Kipling

Epitaphs of the war…

The debate regarding the execution and pardoning of British Soldiers executed during the ‘Great War’ rages on until the present day, as yet no British Government has been sincere enough to hold up their hands to state that perhaps miscarriages of justice had been made. There are a number who may say that some of the men had deserved to die, and if their case were to be considered again the sentence would hold, however, which of the hundred and fifty-one men and boys shot at dawn would they be? I would be interested to find what a ‘fair hearing’ would make of the case against Private James Crampton; a soldier whom I believe had served his country and had eventually been so terribly let down by it in return.

Unfortunately the stigma’s created by the powers that be lives on. Recently During 2002 I had been in touch with Scarborough Borough Council to find their views in respect of having the name of James Crampton added to those commemorated on the town’s War Memorial. The person I had spoken to had said that it was a matter which would need careful consideration in the light of possibly offending the feelings of relatives of the men who had fallen defending ‘King and Country’, not to the British bullet. However, following the blanket pardon that had finally been given during the summer of 2006 to all the men of the British Army that had been shot at dawn during the war of 1914-18, Scarborough Council had finally agreed to include James Crampton’s name on Scarborough’s Oliver’s Mount Memorial, which, coincidentally already includes the name of James’s nephew; 3189417 Private Ernest Crampton.

The son of James Crampton’s eldest brother Charles, Ernest had been born in Scarborough during 1911 and had once worked as a joiner for the town’s electricity board. Also a former member of Scarborough’s ‘Caledonian Pipe Band’ Ernest had been married during 1935 to Eva Stonehouse.

A pre war regular army soldier, Ernest had been a survivor of Dunkirk, and had finally been killed in action on the 9TH of July 1944 at the age of thirty three years whilst serving in landings in Normandy with the 1ST Battalion of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. His remains are interred in Section V, Row K, Grave 9 of La Delivrande War Cemetery, which is located near to village to be found some fourteen kilometres to the north of Caen known as Douvres- La-Delivrand.

[1] Great Northern Publishing; issue 2 December 2001.

[2] Shot at dawn; Julian Putkowski and Julian Sykes. Pen & Sword Books 1989.

[3] The file containing the Courts Martial proceedings concerning James Crampton can be located at the Public Records Office at Kew under reference number W.O.71/543. I am grateful to the PRO for granting me permission to reproduce the material therein.

[4] George Crampton and Elizabeth Lancaster [formally Sails had married at Scarborough’s St Mary’s Parish Church on the 10TH of September 1864. George had died at No14 Brook Square, on the 11TH of February 1878, at the age of 45 years. Elizabeth Crampton had subsequently passed away at the age of forty-six years, on the 11TH of November 1880. Both are interred in Scarborough’s Dean Road Cemetery [Section A, Row 9, Grave 12], their final resting place is unmarked [This grave also contains the remains of James’s brother Harry, who had died during November 1922, at the age of sixty four years.

-For the sake of example; Anthony Babington, Leo Cooper 1983.
- The History of the Green Howards during the Great War 1914-18; Wylly.
- British Regiments 1914-18; E.A. James, Samson, 1978.
- Kitchener’s Army; Ray Westlake, Spellmount, 1998.
- Defeat at Gallipoli; Nigel Steel & Peter Hart, Macmillan, 1994.

Share this article

Request our email newsletter for all our latest news and information
Contact us

01723 369361
45 Eastborough, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 1NH, England

We are here

Opening times

11am - 4pm
11am - 4pm
11am - 4pm
11am - 4pm
11am - 4pm
Registered charity No 1144532. Company No 06755717.