Private Henry CRITCHLOW

Sherwood Foresters
(Notts and Derby Regiment))
4th Company
Service Number:
37 / 38
Date of Death:
23 July 1918 - Died
Cemetery / Memorial:

Personal History:

Henry was born in the September quarter 1881, the eldest son of John (Farmer, 181 acres) and Mary (née Taylor) Critchlow of Barmoor, Peak Forest, Derbyshire. He had two elder sisters, Sarah Anne and Emily, and four younger siblings, John, William Edward, Elizabeth Ellen and Frederick. (1891 Census RG 12/2781)

In 1901 Henry was employed on his father's farm (Census RG 13/3273) Ten years later little had changed (1911 Census RG 14/21262), Henry was still living and working on the farm. Henry married Alice Hadfield in the December quarter 1914.

Military History:

The National Archive has no record of a Medal Index Card for Henry, which tends to indicate he would not have served abroad.  His Service Record has not survived, but a soldier with a similar number (21115) enlisted at Nottingham on Boxing Day 1914 and was posted to France in May 1916. However, in that case the soldier was posted to the 12th Battalion.
The 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters was formed in August 1914 in Derby as a depot/training unit. It moved to Sunderland in August 1914 and remained there as part of Tyne Garrison. There are records of contingents of the 4th Battalion being posted to France as reinforcements for other Battalions - as early as January 1915.

During the entire War the 4th Battalion suffered just 16 casualties, all of whom died, some at home.
It may be presumed that Henry succumbed to illness or disease, contracted either at Sunderland or
on being invalided home. He is buried in the local churchyard at Prestwich, Lancashire. The Church
burial register states: "1st August 1918 Henry Critchlow age 48 (sic) years of the County Asylum
(Prestwich) by William Rowe". Maybe his location at the time of his death gives some indication of
the nature of his illness, or maybe he died of influenza. A history of the Hospital says: "Soldiers with
wounds of mind and body returned".

His family back in Buxton either chose not to or couldn't afford to bring him home for burial.

· Photo of St. Mary's Church by Iain Peacock
· I am grateful to Duncan, via the Great War Forum, for the photo of Henry's grave.

Commemorated on:

Link to CWGC Record
St Mary's Church, Prestwich
Henry Critchlow's grave
Prestwich St Mary's Cemetery
Commonwealth War Graves in Prestwich St Mary's Churchyard Cemetery