Lance Corporal James Crawford


James Crawford was born on 3 July 1897 in Bridge Street, Banbridge, County Down, the second of four children of postman James Crawford and his wife Martha (née Bowman). By the time of he 1911 Census he was living at Bridge Street with his parents and siblings.

Crawford enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 31 August 1914 (No.1061). On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division. Later that year, or in 1916, he returned to the UK either sick, wounded or injured, later resuming duty at the regimental reserve depot at Antrim.

At the end of December 1916 Crawford was one of forty North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The formal transfer took place on 9 January 1917, and on the same day they embarked for France where they were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front on 16 January. Crawford was issued regimental number 40640. He may have seen action with the battalion at Messines (June 1917), Langemarck (16 August 1917) and Cambrai (November and December 1917).

By 1918 Crawford had been posted to A Company of the 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was captured, unwounded, near St Quentin on 22 March 1918 at the beginning of the German spring offensive. Held at camps at Cassell, Zwickau and Chemnitz, he was released at the end of the war, arriving home in December 1918 or January 1919.

On 11 April 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


Crawford's brother John also served in the war, in the 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. He was killed on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.