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Ewart Creek was born in Morecambe in the June quarter of 1885 the son of Josiah and Louisa Creek (nee Galley). Josiah Creek was originally from Ely St. Mary`s in Cambridgeshire and Louisa was from Bury St. Edmunds and the couple married in Bradford, Yorkshire in the third quarter of 1871. Ewart was the youngest of five children, the first four were all born in Bradford; Albert (1872), Rosa (1874), Harry (1879) and Frank (1883). After Frank arrived the family moved across the Pennines to Lancashire and set up home in Morecambe where Ewart was born. By 1891 the family had moved again, this time to 26 Regent Road in Poulton where Josiah Creek`s employment was described as a `receiver` working for the Post Office. Albert the eldest was a joiner, Rosa was a clerk and Harry was attending school.

By the 1901 Census the family had moved back into Morecambe to live at 13 Claremont Road and Josiah Creek was now a retired sub-postmaster. Harry was a sorting clerk and telegraphist and Ewart was working as an accounts clerk. Prior to the 1911 Census all of Ewart`s siblings had married and his parents had moved down south to live in Totland Bay on the Isle of Wight. Meanwhile Ewart had moved to Lancaster and was boarding in the home of Edwin Winder Row and his wife Rachel at 25 King Street. Ewart was employed in James Williamson`s linoleum works in Lancaster as a commercial clerk.

On the 14th May 1912 Ewart married May Ormerod in the Central Methodist Church in Morecambe. The couple do not appear to have had any children.

Ewart enlisted on the 11th December 1915 and was issued with the service number 26449. His home address was now 3 Victoria Buildings in Morecambe and he was still employed as a clerk. His medical inspection noted that he was 5`6” tall and had a chest measurement of just over 33 inches and he weighed 127lbs. Ewart confirmed that he had no previous military experience. He passed his medical inspection and was posted to the Reserve. He wasn`t mobilised until the 10th April 1917 and two days later he was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Ewart embarked for France on the 4th July 1917 and after a couple of weeks at the Base Depot he was posted to the 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, joining them in the field on the 23rd July 1917.

In February of 1918 the 1st Battalion transferred from the 2nd to the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division. On the 21st March 1918 the German Spring Offensive began but the 1st Division played no part in the early days of the offensive and they remained in the most northerly sector of the Ypres Salient. However, on the 8th April they made a move to Lapugny reaching there on the 9th April. On the 11th they moved on again going via Houchin and Beuvry, travelling by roads which were under heavy shell fire and as a consequence some minor casualties were incurred. On the 15th April the Battalion took over the defences of Le Preol, occupying the sector from the La Bassee Canal northwards where they were the right battalion of the brigade line.

An attack by the enemy on the 1st Division had been anticipated, due to take place on the 18th April and at 04:15hrs on the morning of the 18th a bombardment was opened up on the whole length of the Divisional front. At about eight o`clock the Germans attacked from the north and succeeded in reaching and occupying the main line of resistance before any counter measures could be taken. “C” and “D” Companies then attacked, eventually succeeding in ejecting the enemy from our main line. By 11am the enemy only held a few isolated posts in the divisional outpost line and the following day these were also cleared after an attack by the 1st Northamptonshire. A period of quiet followed before the Battalion was eventually relieved on the 23rd-24th April, returning by bus to Houchin.

During this period the Battalion losses had been very heavy; 2 Officers and 46 other ranks being killed, 5 Officers and 105 men were wounded, while 5 Officers and 189 non-commissioned Officers and men were missing.

Private Ewart Creek was one of the 189 men reported missing after the action on the 18th April. It was later confirmed that he had been captured and then imprisoned at Carvin, a town about 14 miles to the north-east of Lens. Between October 1914 and October 1918 Carvin was used a German garrison town and was occupied by both German military and civilians.

Sadly, Ewart was reported to have died of wounds on the 12th June 1918, his papers stating that his wounds were as a result of “a bomb from an aeroplane”.

After the war Ewart`s widow May took receipt of her husband`s British War and Victory Medals that he was entitled to and she would also have received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice.

Ewart`s name was included on the Morecambe and Heysham War Memorial (pictured below) which was completed in 1921. The Memorial stands on the seafront at Morecambe and lists the names of 216 men who perished in WW1 as well as 180 men who died in WW2 and 1 who died in the Korean War.

morecambe-and-heysham-war-memorialmorecambe-and-heysham-war-memorial-panel

Rank: Private
Service No: 26449
Date of Death: 12/06/1918
Age: 32
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, ‘A Coy’, 1st Bn.
Cemetery: CARVIN COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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One Response to 26449 PTE. E. CREEK. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Jim says:

    A moving story about Ewart that has given me new information about my Great Uncle. He was Robert Fletcher fighting with the 1st Btn at that time and sadly killed on the 18th.
    Thank you for the story.

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