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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

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1887 - 1916

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1894 - 1916

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1883 - 1918
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Lieut George Oliver Crippen

  • Age: 32
  • From: Huyton, Liverpool
  • Regiment: 5 South Lancs Regt
  • Died on Friday 14th May 1915
  • Commemorated at: Menin Gate Memorial
    Panel Ref: Panel 37
George Oliver Crippen was born in Huyton, Liverpool on 16th November 1882 the son of George Thomas Crippen and his wife Alice Ann (nee Rigby). His parents married in 1867 in Croyden. 

He was baptised on 20th November 1882 in St. Bartholomew’s Church, Roby. His parents were living in Huyton,his father’s occupation was a cashier.

On the 1891 Census the family are living at "Yew Tree House", 1 Roby Rd, Huyton. Father George Thomas is a 53 year old, employed in the wine and spirit trade born in Middlesex, mother Alice Ann is aged 48 and born in Chesterfield. their children are listed as; Lily Layton 23 b.Liverpool, Ernest Rigby 21 clerk Royal Insurance b.Liverpool, Ethel Maud 19 b.Huyton, Ansell Wm 17 clerk North Western Bank b.Huyton, Olive Abbeton 15 b.Huyton, Margt Gertrude 13 b.Huyton, Geo Oliver 8 b.Huyton, Edw Morley 5 b.Huyton, and servants Mary Alice Parle 30 cook, Lucy Steel Smith 21 waitress, Mary Alice Bradshaw 16 housemaid.

His father died in the March quarter of 1897.

The 1901 Census finds the family living at "Inglesant?" Victoria Rd, Huyton. Widowed mother Alice Ann is aged 58 and she lives with her children; Ethel Maud 29, Ansell Wm 27 cashier, Olive Abbeton 15, Margt Gertrude 23, Oliver 18 apprentice book keeper, Morley 15, grandchild Norman Cook 7, also a visitor and servant Alice.  

By the time of the 1911 Census the family are living at Westmoreland Road, Huyton. Widowed mother Alice Ann is 58 years of age and lives with her children; Ethel Maud 39, Ansell Wm 37 banking clerk, Margt Gertrude 33, Oliver George 28 insurance clerk, Morley 25 cotton salesman, and servant Kathleen O'Connor 20.

George enlisted in Liverpool, joining the 17th Battalion as Private 15667 before he received a Commission. He was Gazetted on 02nd October 1914 to Second Lieutenant with the 5th Battalion of the Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment). His record was dated 03rd Oct 1914 - Private George Oliver Crippen, City Battalion, King's Liverpool Regt.

He was killed in action on 14th May 1915, aged 32, serving with the 5th Battalion of the Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment). His body was not recovered from the battlefield or was subsequently lost and his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres in Belgium.

The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates casualties from the forces of Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and United Kingdom who died in the Salient. In the case of United Kingdom casualties, only those prior 16 August 1917 (with some exceptions). United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. New Zealand casualties that died prior to 16 August 1917 are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery.

The YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, was unveiled by Lord Plumer on 24 July 1927.

Local newspaper reports dealt with his loss in a number of articles:

Liverpool Echo on 20th May 1915:

Huyton Cricketer

Lieutenant Crippen Killed at the Front

Official news has been received that Lieut. G. O. Crippen, of Huyton (5th South Lancashire Regiment) has been killed in France.

Lieut. Crippen was popular among both his fellow officers and his men. He was well known in Liverpool commercial circles, and extremely well liked as a good sportsman and genial friend. He was in the service of the London Guarantee and Accident Insurance Company.

He was a member of the Huyton Cricket Club, and did his club great service as an excellent all-round cricketer, achieving most success as a bowler.

A letter received from him only yesterday contains the following pertinent comment:- ‘I only wish the strikers could have experienced what we have done during the last ten days. They would work on munitions night and day sooner than be here half an hour.’ 

Liverpool Echo on 21st May 1915:

Killed in Action. Crippen – By a sniper, aged 32 years, Lieutenant George Oliver (5th South Lancashires), third son of the late G. T. Crippen and Mrs. Crippen, of Huyton. Memorial service at Roby church, today (Friday), at 1:30. 

Liverpool Echo on 21st May 1915:

Crippen – May 14, killed in action, aged 32 years, Lieutenant George Oliver Crippen, 5th South Lancashire Regiment, third son of Alice Ann Crippen, of Huyton, and the late G. T. Crippen, late of Thos. Rigby’s Dale Street. Memorial service at Roby Church tomorrow (Friday) at 1:30 p.m. 

Liverpool Post on 22nd May 1915:

Roby Officer’s Death

Memorial Service to Lieutenant G. O. Crippen 

Friends in town of the late Lieutenant G. O. Crippen, who was killed on service with the 5th South Lancashire Regiment, visited Roby yesterday to attend a memorial service in the beautiful old parish church. Lieutenant Crippen was well known in the village, and in addition to the relatives and residents the congregation included representatives of the Huyton Cricket Club, of which he was a most popular member, and many old business associates in the London Guarantee and Accident Insurance Company. Canon Sylvester and the Rev. C. W. Macready conducted the impressive service. “Oh God, our help”, Holy Father in Thy mercy”, and “O God of love” were the hymns, and at the close Mr. Arthur Sharp played “O rest in the Lord”.

Cannon Sylvester, in a touching address, said he had known the late officer since early boyhood, and spoke of his manly and noble disposition. It was good, said an old saying, to lay down our life for once’s country, and that he had now fulfilled. While they mourned his loss, they owed also a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who had spared him to fight for his country’s cause and to go out to uphold the banner and flag of all that was high and true and just. When a word from them might have prevented him from going, that word was never spoken, and he was bravely and nobly given. Neither his life nor the lives of others for whom they grieved every day had been lost. It was rather a lesson that would live long after they had gone.

Soldiers Effects to mother Alice Ann, no Pension record found

George Oliver is commemorated on the following Memorials:

Liverpool Exchange Newsroom, Exchage Flags, Liverpool.

Huyton with Roby, outside the Council offices, Civic Way, Huyton

Huyton Cricket and Bowling Club WW1 Roll of Honour

Liverpool College, Sefton Park, Liverpool

St Bartholomew WW1 Roll of Honour, Roby

London Guarantee and Accident Company WW1 Board, National Arboretum, Staffordshire

St Michael's Church Triptych, Huyton    

His mother died in the December quarter of 1927, aged 85. 

The following extract is from the Liverpool Scroll of Fame book and gives an idea of his life and character:

Cricketers in Liverpool and district before the war will remember the name of George Oliver Crippen. For fifteen years he was a member of the Huyton team - when war broke out he was Captain of the senior eleven and he had played for the Montgomeryshire County. He was an enthusiast of the Summer game, being a bowler of exceptional ability.

He joined up in October 1914 as a Private in the "Liverpool Pals". Within a month he had been selected for a commission, and he was gazetted to the 5th South Lancashire Regiment, training with them at Edinburgh. Early in 1915 he was drafted to France, and he did excellent work until, as we shall tell later, he was killed on 14th May.

He was the third son of the late George T Crippen and Mrs Crippen of Westmoreland Road, Huyton. No man could have been happier in his home relationship and in the genial companionship of a wide circle of friends, and his letters to them from the front were delightful in their freshness and cheerfulness, being touched here and there with a singular descriptive facility. So buoyant was the strain, and so deft his comments alike on his comrades and the novelty of his surroundings, that one might have found it difficult to believe that at that very time he wa senduring all the hardships of trench life with its perils and monotony.

"It will be awfully funny not to have any cricket this season" he once wrote in his dugout, "I hope however, to be bowling them out in a different way for a change, and I will let you know of his batting powers".

Such were his happy pleasantries, and if one may continue the simile he did play the hard match of warfare with a typical zest and thoroughness.

"It is extraordinary how quickly one gets used to bullets flying about" he narrated on another occasion, whilst still another letter declared:

"The spirit of all officers and men is really splendid. One cannot help but feel cheery amongst such a crowd".

On 14th May he was sniped from about 50 yards distance whilst running across open ground to join his company. Lietenanat Crippen, who was 33 years of age when he died, surrendered the bright promise of a professional career when he entered the Army. For his education he went to Liverpool College. Subsequently he was apprenticed and then he began to make his position in the Insurance world with the Edinburgh Assurance Company, and afterwards in a corresponding position with the London Guarantee and Accident Company. From many sources one has glowing references to his business capacity, and with these may be linked the more intimate and affectionate remembrances of those who knew the warmheartedness, the uprightness and the manliness of his attractive personality and a spirit of patriotism, which was an incentive to others. Such were the thoughts of those who attended the reverent memorial service in Roby Church.