680792 PTE. R. CROSKELL. R.F.A.
Robert Croskell was born in Preston in January 1899 and baptised at Emmanuel Church on 18 January. His father was George William Croskell (b. 1862 in Lancaster), a farm labourer. His mother was Jane Muncaster (b. 1865 in Selside, Westmorland). George and Jane were married at Caton, near Lancaster, in 1890 and they had 8 children, though 3 died young. The survivors were: Elizabeth (b. 1891), Eleanor (b. 1893), George (1896-1904), the Robert, then William (b. 1902) and finally John (b. 1904). The Croskells lived in various parts of north Lancashire and the Fylde eventually moving to Bamber Bridge between 1904 and 1911. At the time of the Census they were living at 4 Church Road, Bamber Bridge. Robert was 12 and still at school.
Robert was only 16 when he enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery, along with the other Briggers, in May 1915. He was later assigned service number 680792 and posted to “C” Battery. So he served with this battery in France from February 1917, at Armentières and Passchendaele, and in 1918 through the Battle of the Lys and the Final Push, including the capture of Cambrai. After Cambrai, the battery was moved north and was involved in the liberation of Lille (17 October 1918). It was near here, on the very last day of the War, that Robert succumbed to the flu pandemic. He died at 15th Casualty Clearing Station, which was at Don, about half way between Lille and Lens. He was only 19 years old.
Service Number: 680792
Date of Death: 11/11/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “C” Bty. 286 Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: I. B. 37.
Cemetery: DON COMMUNAL CEMETERY, ANNOEULLIN
Additional Information: Son of G. W. Croskell and Jane Croskell, of 17 Church Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston, Lancs.