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Crichton, J.M.S., Pte., 1915

De Ruvigny Roll of Honour Vol 1 page 100

Australian War Memorial Archive Record

Private Crichton Attestation Front Page

JMS Crichton in uniform: Pauline O'Meagher

Postcard: Pauline O'Meagher

At the Lone Pine Memorial is the Commonwealth War Grave of 2199 Private Joseph Michael Smith Crichton, serving with the 16th Battalion Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force who died 08/08/1915.

Joseph Michael Smith Crichton was the fourth son of Alfred James Crichton of Sunderland, and his wife Ann (28 Sidecliff Road, Roker, Sunderland) daughter of Joseph Michael Smith, born Sunderland.

Joseph was born on the 16th March 1889 in Sunderland and was educated at Redby School. He resided at 7 Beatrice Street, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland. Joseph went to Australia in April 1912 where he took up farming. His record shows that he was a Farm Labourer.

He had previously tried to enlist in the Royal Household Cavalry but was rejected as being too tall. In Australia he had enlisted on the 22nd March 1915. He was 6 feet 2 inches tall and was aged 26.

After the outbreak of War he joined the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force in April 1915, and embarked from the H.M.A.T. A62 Wandilla at Freemantle on the 25th June 1915, as part of the 6th Reinforcement wave and was sent to Eygpt [sic] (he in fact, was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula), with the 16th Battalion and was killed in action on Lone Pine, 8th August 1915.

He had volunteered with some other Australians and Indians on some hazardous work when he met his death. His Adjutant said of him that he always did excellent work, but more particularly on the day of his death.

Joseph left everything to his mother Mrs Ann Crichton who was residing at 7 Beatrice Street, Sunderland. His personal possessions, Wallet, Letters, Private papers and two Badges were all returned to his mother. She received a pension of 2 a fortnight which commenced from the 8th October 1915. He also was awarded three medals, British War Medal, Victory Medal and the 1914/15 Star.

Sources: Australian Service Records and De Ruvigny Roll of Honour

Pauline O'Meagher has sent the following:

My name is Pauline O'Meagher and I live in Fremantle, Western Australia.

A while ago I was sorting through some old photographs and found a photo of Mr Crichton. The photo is attached though it is a very hazy photo. It shows Mr Crichton in AIF uniform. Also attached is a postcard sent to Mr Crichton in Cunderdin Western Australia. I assume that is where he was farming. It is about two hours east of Perth/Fremantle. It is not far from Northam where he signed up for service in 1915.

Grandfather came to Australia in 1911 from Durham Sunderland with his mother, two sisters and three brothers. His mother's maiden name was Smith and one of his brother's had Smith as a middle name, the same as Mr Crichton. I think that they may have been cousins but I cannot find out anything more.

Mr Crichton's name is on the War Memorial in Kings Park Perth as well as the National War Memorial in Canberra, along with my great uncle Tom Smith Auld who died in France in 1917.

Every Anzac Day (25 April) Australians and New Zealanders commemorate the landing at Gallipoli Turkey with a dawn service and parade. It is a very moving experience. Since I found the photo, I have included Mr Crichton in my thanks for his service along with Uncle Tom.

The postcard sent by Pte. Crichton shows a lion whose mane is comprised of letters which spell out "Canada", "India", "Australia", "New Zealand", "African Colonies".

Joseph Michael Smith Crichton is remembered in Sunderland on S140.082 and S140.005, in Monkwearmouth on M46.20, M46.22 and in the Masonic Roll of Honour

Australian War Memorial
Crichton Service Papers
The CWGC entry for Private Crichton

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk