Second Lieutenant Richard Latham Cramp


Richard Latham Cramp was born on 11 December 1887 at Birkenhead, Cheshire, the last of three children of grocer's manager Edwin William Cramp and his wife Mary Jane (nee Latham). He was educated at Claughton Higher Grade School, Birkenhead. By 1911 was living with his parents and surviving older brother at 12 Park Road, Stretford, Manchester, and working as a clerk in a cardboard box-making firm.

Cramp enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 7 October 1914 (No.1282). He was promoted to lance corporal on 20 January 1915 and corporal on 13 February. On 27 April 1915 he embarked for France, where he was posted to A Squadron.

Two weeks later he was "out for exercise with the rest of the Sqdn outside St Omer & as far as I can say the horse shied & I was heavily thrown and rendered unconscious." He was admitted to No.10 Stationery Hospital at St Omer then transferred to No.1 General Hospital at Le Harve, suffering from an incised wound to his forehead. Although the injury was assessed as being of a "trivial" nature, Cramp was evacuated to England on 30 May, where he was admitted to the Holt Hospital at Liverpool. He later unsuccessfully sought permission to wear a wound stripe as a result of this injury.

After he recovered he reported for duty at the North Irish Horse reserve depot at Antrim. He was promoted to sergeant on 11 November and squadron quartermaster-sergeant on 7 January 1916.

On 28 July 1916 Cramp applied for a commission in the infantry. On 3 January 1917 he reported for duty at No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion at Moor Park, Fermoy. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 30 May 1917 and posted to the 5th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles.

Soon after this Cramp embarked for France, where he was attached to the 7th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, 16th (Irish) Division. On 16 August 1917 the 7th Battalion took part in the Battle of Langemarck, part of 3rd Ypres, attacking at Frezenberg. Casualties were very high, the cost for this and the following day being 5 officers killed, 5 wounded and 7 missing, 39 other ranks killed and 269 wounded or missing.

Second Lieutenant Cramp was among the wounded, with a bullet through the right shoulder and arm, causing a compound fracture to the latter. He was evacuated to England for treatment five days later. His arm never fully recovered – a series of medical boards at the Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital, Whitchurch, and at Belfast, rating his disability at 50 and then 40 per cent.

On 8 August 1918 he was placed on the retired list "on account of ill-health caused by wounds".

Second Lieutenant Cramp died at 66 Lowther Road, Brighton, Sussex, on 9 April 1920.