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John Drummond Crichton was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham on 26th October 1891. His parents were William, a hardware merchant, and Bessie.

John was schooled at the King Edward’s School in Birmingham, and later Christ Church, Oxford. At King Edward’s he was in the same rugby team as J.R.R Tolkien, he is photographed with him in the book ‘Tolkien and the Great War: The threshold of Middle-earth’ by John Garth.

On 18th August 1913, John aged 21 is to be found as a passenger on the Minnewaska heading for New York.

2nd Lt. J D Crichton is on the Army list 1914 serving with 6th (Service) Battalion.

Lt Crichton embarked on the ship ‘Braemar Castle’ at Avonmouth, sailing on 17th June 1915 via Malta, Alexandria and Mudros. They landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli on 6th July.

Upon their arrival they were almost immediately sent to the front line; and in the next couple of weeks of heavy fighting Lt Crichton was wounded and evacuated.

During the first half of 1916; Lt Crichton had recovered. He was now transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion joining them in France; He was almost immediately listed as wounded again.

On the 21st March 1918, Captain Crichton was in command of B Company, 9th Bn during operations when the Germans implemented Operation Michael.

22nd March 1918

Shelling started early in the morning on the 22nd March 1918, with the German attack well underway by breakfast. Due to the Germans pressing hard, and massing on the Bapaume-Cambrai road, the Loyals were moved up to reinforce the Black Watch and Gordon Highlanders just north of the road. Initially, the 9th Bn Loyal North Lancs succeeded in inflicting a great many casualties amongst the enemy; but were overwhelmed by a party of German machine gunners that had broken the line to their left flank. As the German numbers were increasing on their left, and then right flanks; the OC 9th Bn took the decision to withdraw.


Captain John Drummond Crichton had been killed.

His estate of £1036 was bequeathed to his sister, Marjorie Crichton, spinster. Marjorie was living at Angusfield House, Aberdeen. She also applied for her late brothers medals, the 1914/15 star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

John is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Rank: Captain
Date of Death: 22/03/1918
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 9th Bn.
Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL, Bay 7.

Paul McCormick
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