Francis Thomas Crocker was born on 5th February 1895 to Job and Irene Crocker. One of eleven children, the family were born and raised in the small Newfoundland town of Trout River.
Sadly, there is little documentation about Francis’ life. What is clear, however, is that, when war broke out, he volunteered for the Royal Naval Reserve.
By 1917, Seaman Crocker was based at HMS Pembroke, the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent. The base was overly busy that summer, and Frances was billeted in temporary accommodation in the town’s Drill Hall.
On the 3rd September 1917, the first night air raid carried out by the German Air Force scored a direct hit on the barracks and Drill hall; Seaman Crocker was killed instantly. He was just 21 years old.
Francis Thomas Crocker was laid to rest, along with the other victims of the Chatham Air Raid, in the Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham, some 2500 miles (4000km) from his Canadian home.