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Altrincham Yeoman - Help Needed 6 months 1 day ago #83450

  • Nari
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Apologies if this isn't the right place to post this but any help would be greatly appreciated, I came across a newspaper article of an ancestors letter to his brother, James Alfred Crickmore born 1872 in Altrincham, Cheshire to parents James Crickmore and Betsy Gerrard, James was always a mystery, nothing found after 1881 until his death cert was located in Australia where he passed away in 1944, I had no idea he even served in the War until I came across this article, is anyone able to help with information regarding his Military career, who he served with, where he served, unable to locate any records of his time serving, his death cert had him named as Alfred so possibly went by his second name, thank you.

Runcorn Guardian 12 January 1901
News From an Altrincham Yeoman

Mr Edward Crickmore of George St, Altrincham has received the following interesting letter, dated 7th December from his brother who is fighting with the Yorkshire Yeomanry and was one of the first Yeoman to leave England for the front.

Dear brother I hope you received my Christmas card and Kruger money I sent you. I told you in my last letter we were having a week’s rest and then going for Generals Botha, Grobeler, Erasmus and Delarey. You will have seen in the papers how we found them where I am now writing from Rhenoster, 45 miles from Pretoria. They gave it us very hot indeed for a while, but we routed them at the finish. We were fighting all Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. They got us in a valley with guns and pom-poms and rifle fire. They did harm and no mistake – the bullets. We had over 150 casualties on our side, chiefly amongst the New Zealanders. We got within 30 yards of them. You can always tell where I am by looking for General Paget’s column, which includes General Plumer and Colonel Hickman. We are to remain with them until the war is over if it is ever going to end. General Paget speaks very highly of the Yorkshire Yeomanry and well he may, for we have been in 35 stiff fights since the beginning of April last. We have had more fighting than any other Yeomanry in South Africa although I say it myself, others can prove it. Our company was 123 strong to start with and now we are 32, the remainder are wounded, killed, or missing. Our men are going about with very ragged clothing and boots done up. This war should have been over long ago. We have been too lenient with the Boers from the first. I shall never forget what I saw in Reitfontein, where we went to the rescue of the West Yorks foot Regiment. We were only a few minutes to late, but the Boers had plugged all our poor fellows when they had shot all their ammunition away. They lay about like sheep dying, praying and begging for water. The Boers where 20 to our one. We took a vow to be avenged, and they had it this week. We gave it to them wholesale. There is a man with our company who has been a sailor, they call him “Joe the Massive” he is a brave and jolly fellow. When we were fighting at Rhenoster one of the Boers came down from the hills at night sniping our Company. This is how we got so many sentries shot. Joe said I’ll have that man tonight, who’s coming? So three of us saddled our horses and went in the direction of the rifle fire. It was very dark. We got to where it seemed to come from, dismounted, tied up our horses and crawled on our hands and knees. We spotted him, ‘Hands up,’ shouted Joe. Mercy, Mercy the Boer cried, we bought him into camp singing ‘What ?? he’s bumping’. I took a Dutch bible and some gold Kruger money from a Boer I shot last night whilst on my lone night sentry duty. Everything is very dear here. Pretoria is a very pretty place. I have as yet never received a letter from home, although I’m sure you have written several times. You see we are never in the same place two days together. I have some queer things to tell you about the war, that is if I get through all right. I have not seen anyone I know since leaving Cape Colony. This is the place for a young man to learn what is called in England ‘common sense’. I shall have to go back to disband with my regiment. Most of our men have put their names down for the police, myself included but General Paget says he can not spare us yet. I can get all expense paid for me to come back here if I care to do so within 12 months after arriving in England.

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Altrincham Yeoman - Help Needed 6 months 1 day ago #83455

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Nari,

That is a very interesting letter. Thank you for posting.

I am having trouble locating J A Crickmore. There is no Imperial Yeomanry attestation paper for him which I would expect and I cannot see him on the roll as service with any other unit, if indeed he returned to or stayed in South Africa.

He mentions the size of 123 for his company which is typical for the IY.

I will keep looking ...
Dr David Biggins
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Altrincham Yeoman - Help Needed 6 months 19 hours ago #83460

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Hello Nari

Like David, I cannot find any paperwork to link James Alfred Crickmore as serving in the Imperial Yeomanry. The letter to his brother Edward provides some clues but on searching the archives there are entries for Crickmore but alas not to the Yorkshire Yeomanry.  I found a Alfred Crickmore who served in the Suffolk Mounted infantry but he was born in Suffolk. I thought the mounted infantry would be a lead as the Crickmores from Cheshire were all saddlers. So, as for the Imperial Yeomanry connection I have drawn a blank. However,  I have found a Alfred Crickmore who served in the 11th Hussars from 1896 to 1897. I have attached some paperwork for you just in case my hunch is correct. He gives his age as 21 which would make his birth date 1875. However he was born in Cheshire, his profession was a saddler. His next of kin was an E Crickmore  who lived at 31 Oxford Road Altrincham Cheshire.  E could be Elizabeth, which could be Betsy? Having checked the 1903 to 1906 register I found a Betsy Crickmore who lived at 30 Oxford Road Altrincham. Too much of a coincidence?? also, below her name is Edward Crickmore,  James's brother a saddler by trade.
In my humble opinion I think Alfred served before the Boer War in the 11th Hussars. Being a saddler by trade and if he was in South Africa during the Boer War he would have served with a mounted infantry regiment even if not an Imperial Yeomanry regiment. I will keep looking to see if we can link James / Alfred to a serving mounted regiment in the Boer War.


Dave..........




You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards,
Dave
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Altrincham Yeoman - Help Needed 6 months 8 hours ago #83475

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Thank you David for looking, really appreciate your help, he is a mystery for sure.

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Altrincham Yeoman - Help Needed 6 months 8 hours ago #83478

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Thank you so much Dave for this, it is definitely the correct family, my Crickmore's ran the Crickmore Saddle and Harness shop in George St, Altrincham for well over 40 years and James mother Betsy lived at Oxford St for at least 30 years, I will see what else I can also find now with this new information which is way more than what I had a couple of day's ago, hopefully more can be located, really appreciate your help.
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Altrincham Yeoman - Help Needed 6 months 8 hours ago #83479

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Fantastic research, Dave. Many thanks
Dr David Biggins
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