CWG: Private Gordon Crook

Private Gordon Crook

Gordon Spencer Crook was born in 1900, one of thirteen children to William and Elizabeth Crook from Somerset. William, like his father, was a gardener, and the family lived in Lower Lane, a small lane sandwiched between the railway and a stream in the centre of Shepton Mallet.

The military records for Gordon, who seems also to have gone by the name of George, are a challenge to piece together. His older brothers Walter and Bertram both died as a result of the fighting, both in 1916, and it seems likely that Gordon was keen to do his bit as soon as he could, to honour their memories.

He enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment, whose battalions served both in France and on the home front. There is conflicting information about his service, but Private Crook appears to have fought at the front, gaining the Victory and British Medals.

Again, with his passing, there is little information surrounding Gordon, or George. A brief notification in the Shepton Mallet Journal stated that “On March 31, at Royal Victoria Hospital Netley, Gordon Spencer, the dearly loved son of W and E Crook, aged 21 years.”

Gordon Spencer Crook lies at rest in the cemetery of his home town, Shepton Mallet.

Gordon’s brother Walter is also buried in Shepton Mallet Cemetery – read his story here.

A third brother, Bertie, was also gave his life in the Great War. The local newspaper had given a touching report on his death in April 1916.

Bertie Crook left school at the age of 13, and went into service with Mrs Dickinson at Whitstone, as a stable lad. He was there a year and then, on account of Mrs Dickinson giving up horses and leaving the town, they recommended him to Lord Derby’s stables at Newmarket, under the Hon. G Lambton. Small as he was, Bertie Crook undertook the railway journey alone, with a label in his buttonhole. He served five years apprenticeship, which expired at the beginning of October [1915]. He then tried to join the Royal Field Artillery, but not being tall enough he joined a West country regiment on the 20th October, and left Tidworth Barracks for France in the early part of January. He was in his 21st year, having been born on the 29th July. 1895.

The Hon. George Lambton writes “I was terribly shocked and grieved to hear of the death of your boy… Mrs Lambton and I send our deepest sympathy… I always liked your boy so much when he was in my stable; and I felt sure that with his quiet and courageous character he would make a good soldier. I shall have a plate put up in the stable in memento of his glorious death.”

Shepton Mallet Journal: Friday 21st April 1916

Lance Corporal Bertram Stanley Crook is buried at the 13th London Graveyard in Lavantie, France.

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