War Hero Harry Remembered In Ealing

Nearly a century after his death

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A first world war soldier has finally been recognised in his home town nearly a hundred years after his death.

Herbert Crook, known as Harry, was born in Ealing in December 1893. He lived with his parents Edwin and Annette at various addresses in the town, including Haven Place or Sandringham Mews, Green Avenue, Mountfield Road and Conningsby Road.

He went to Northfields School and later, as a teenager, became an assistant at a local greengrocer. On 9 September 1915 he enlisted in the Army, as his brothers Frank and Percy had done earlier that year.

Before being sent to France he fought in Egypt, and was awarded the Victory Medal, The British War Medal 1914-20, and the Star.

On 26 June 1916 Harry was killed in action on the Somme. His body was never recovered or identified.

Although his name is inscribed on the Thiepval Memorial dedicated to ‘The Missing of the Somme’ he was one of many British troops whose names did not make it on to memorials back home.

However, thanks to the research of Harry’s nephew Stuart Crook who also grew up in Ealing, the omission from the local war memorial on Ealing Green has now been rectified.

He and members of the family - including Harry's great nephew and two great nieces - attended Ealing War Memorial on Ealing Green on Friday (27 February) as the final pieces of lead were expertly hammered into the memorial by stonemason Manjit Phull to mark out HH Crook in the stone.

The family took along one of the memorial poppies recently ‘planted’ around the Tower of London for the 2014 Remembrance commemoration.

Stuart said: “My family and I feel that we have now provided a proper and fitting conclusion to Herbert’s life. In recognition of his actions and the fact that he gave his life whilst serving his country, his name is now rightly inscribed on the war memorial. Thus ensuring that, whilst his body was never discovered on the battlefield of the Somme, he is now remembered properly and there is a permanent reminder of him in his home town. It is as though finally, after almost 100 years, Herbert has been brought home and laid to rest in a way befitting the sacrifice he made.”


Do you have an unnamed hero?

Do you have an ancestor who died in the First World War and you believe has not been named on a local war memorial in our borough? Contact Gavin Leonard at leonardg@ealing.gov.uk or call 020 8825 9054. 


3rd March 2015