Thomas Crewe

Thomas Crewe

Personal Details

Born: 12 January 1886 in Whitchurch, Shropshire and baptised on 3 February 1886 at St. Alkmund`s Parish Church, Whitchurch.

Family: He was one of nine surviving children born to William Crewe, a labourer in a foundry and his wife  Ann, nee Keefe. He married Esther Ann (Essie) Gray in 1908. The couple had eight children, Evelyn, Doris, Kathleen, Arthur, Helen, Phyllis, Hazel and Earl.

Residence: At the time of his baptism in 1886 his family were living in Tarporley Road, Whitchurch. By 1891 they had moved to Claypit Street, Whitchurch but ten years later they were living at Oddfellows Cottages, Smallbrook Road, Whitchurch. Thomas emigrated to Canada in 1905. From 1916 until at least 1948 his family were living at 89 Hart Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1951 he and his wife moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. In November 1954 they moved again to 2293 Woodlawn Street, Kelowna, British Columbia.

Employment: In 1901 he was a grocer`s errand boy. When he left the army in 1919 he joined the federal civil service, working in various occupations including a caretaker and elevator operator.

Died: 18 February 1955 at Kelowna General Hospital, Kelowna, British Columbia, aged 69.

Military Details

Regiment: Canadian Expeditionary Force 

Rank: Private

Service Number: 461405

Date of Enlistment: 15 February 1916

Date of Discharge: 4 April 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Other Information: In October 1916, whilst serving in France, he was reported as missing but was found partially buried. As a result he suffered from shell shock. In 1918 he received gunshot wounds to both feet and his right arm. Three of his brothers, Arthur, George and Harry, and his uncle Charles also served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WW1.

Medals and Awards

Thomas was awarded the Campaign medals (Victory and British War Medals) and the Canadian War Service Badge (number 162436)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Canadian War Service Badge

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The Canadian War Badge was awarded to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) who served in the United Kingdom or at the front, and who, due to old age, wounds or sickness, had retired or relinquished their commissions or been honourably discharged.


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