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LIVES OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
The E.J. Boys Archive

Amended 14.5.11. Minor edits 17.2.2014.

1398, Private Henry CREESE - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Enlistment

EJB says he enlisted at London on the 18th of February 1854.

Age: 18.

Height: 5' 5".

Trade: None shown.

Service

1851 Census

Piershill Barracks, Midlothian.

Henry Creese, 19, Private Soldier, born Worcester.

Sent to the Depot at Birmingham on the 1st of April 1854:

"Absent" from the 1st of April.

Classed as a "Deserter" he was tried by a Regtl. Court-martial and "In confinement" until the 30th of June 1854. He also forfeited his previous service by this conviction but this was restored to him by a War Office letter dated the 14th of October 1863.

Embarked on the 10th of July 1855, and joined the regiment in the Crimea on the 1st of August 1855.

Sent to Scutari on the 10th of October 1855 and invalided to England on the 31st of October 1855.

Transferred to the 17th Lancers on the 10th of September 1857. Regtl. No. 84.

Embarked for India from Cork aboard the S.S. "Great Britain" on the 8th of October 1857.

Served in the field at Rajghur with Captain William Gordon.

Next of kin: Wife, Susannah, shown on the Regimental "Married roll" from the 15th of September 1863. There were three known children in the family.

Death registered

Susanna Butter Crease [sic, 1st wife], September Quarter 1863, Taunton.

Embarked for England on the 7th of January 1864.

Discharge & pension

Discharged, "time expired", from Maidstone, on the 17th of August 1865.

Conduct and character, "Latterly good". In possession of one Good Conduct badge.

He went onto the "A" Class Reserve at Gloucester on the 5th of September 1866.

Medals & commemorations

Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasp for Sebastopol and the Turkish medal.

Mutiny medal without clasp.

Not recorded by Lummis and Wynn.

Life after service

Marriage registered

Henry Creese and Caroline Thomas, March Quarter 1865, in Cheltenham.

Birth registered

Jane Creese [daughter], March Quarter 1870, Cheltenham.

1871 Census

Stables, Cheltenham.

Henry Creese, 38, born Eckington, Worcester.

Caroline Creese, 33, born Newtown, Montgomeryshire.

Jane Creese, 1, daughter, born Cheltenham.

1881 Census

No. 1 Lansdown Terrace, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

The 1881 Census shows him as as a Servant (Domestic), aged 49, born at Cockington, Worcestershire, living with his wife Caroline, 46, born at Newton Montgomery, and a daughter, Jane, 11.

Death registered

Caroline Creese, 46, December Quarter 1882, Cheltenham.

1891 Census

11, Park Street, Cheltenham.

Henry Creese, 59, Lodger, widower, Pensioner, born Ripple, Worcestershire.

Marriage registered

Jane Creese [daughter] to James William Brewer, June Quarter 1892, Cheltenham.

1901 Census

126, Roebrook Street, West Bromwich.

James W Brewer, 32, mineral water manufacturer, born West Bromwich.

Jane Brewer [daughter], 31, born Cheltenham.

Edward, 6; Caroline, 4; both born Cheltenham.

1911 Census

40, Granville Street, Cheltenham.

Henry Creese, 80, widower, boarder, Groom retired, born Ripple, Tewkesbury.

Death & burial

Died July 1916.

Death registered

Henry Creese, aged 86, September Quarter 1916, Cheltenham.

There is a picture of him (in old age) in the Cheltenham Echo, July 1916, with the caption:

"Pte. Henry Creese, a fine old Crimean veteran, who was buried with military honours on Wednesday June 26th, in Cheltenham Cemetery. He joined the 17th Lancers in 1850 [sic] and was in possession of the Crimean, Turkish, and Indian Mutiny medals."

(See copy of this picture in the 13th Hussar file).

Extract from the Cheltenham Chronicle for the 29th of July 1916:

Crimean Veteran's Funeral

In Cheltenham - The interment took place at the Cheltenham Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, in the presence of many old comrades, of Private Henry Creese, a fine old Crimean veteran, who also served in the Indian Mutiny. Creese enlisted into the 13th Light Dragoons in the year 1850, and was afterwards transferred to the 17th Lancers. It was with the Lancers that his active service was seen in the Crimea, and at the close of that campaign he volunteered and was accepted for service in India.

On the completion of his military service he came to live in Cheltenham, and he was one of the beneficiaries of the Lord Robert's Veterans Fund. When his advancing years and growing infirmities rendered it necessary for him to receive more attention than he could get elsewhere, he having no relations in the town, he asked to be taken into the old-age ward on the men's side in the Swinton-Road institution, where every care was taken to render his last days as comfortable as might be.

A veteran officer who resides in Cheltenham and who knew him well, writes to the "Echo", "Private H. Creese was one of the finest of Queen Victoria's old soldiers, and one of the most deserving of Lord Robert's Army veterans. He joined the 17th Lancers, one of the smartest cavalry regiments of King Edward's reign, in 1850, and served with credit to his regiment, and was in possession of the Crimean, Turkish and Indian Mutiny medals. When Sir James Agg-Gardner, M.P. was Mayor of Cheltenham he invited him, George Tillott, late 3rd Dragoon Guards, and William Preston, late Rifle Brigade, to his garden party at Pittville, a kindness which was much appreciated. The two latter survive him."

"We are informed that the veteran was a Worcester man, but that he came to Cheltenham many years ago and carried on business as a livery stable proprietor. For the past ten years or more however, his advanced age and infirmities had prevented him doing anything. The veterans and other military and naval representatives who attended to do honour to the departed hero gathered in the garden of Mr. James Such's house in Swindon-Road.

Amongst them was Colonel Law, formerly of the Gloucestershire Regiment, the colours of which he was wearing in his button-hole. The Colonel knew Creese well, and held him in the highest respect.

The whole procession was headed by Police-Instructor C. Hayward (wearing the Kings and Queen's Boer War medals), Petty 0fficer Grenville Pigott, of a T.B.D. that took part in the Jutland fight, and Driver Hall of the Garrison Artillery: and also present were Private William Preston, of Swindon-village (wearing the Crimean, Turkish and Mutiny medals) Mr. Stephen Miles, ex-R.N. (who was orderly to Sir James Hope and served with Admiral Sir Thomas Jackson in the Jamaica insurrection), Sgt. J.W. Thomas, late Field Artillery; Mr. John Such: (long-time Armourer-Sgt. of the old G.R.E.V.) and Mr. Henry Tovey (who served 14 years each in both the old Cheltenham Rifles and the G.R.E.V.)

The coffin was draped in a Union Jack, and a firing party from the Close School Cadet Corps attended to pay the last military honours. The Revd. W. Wheaten, (vicar of St. Peter's, conducted the funeral service."

He was buried in a "Common" plot in the Borough of Cheltenham Cemetery, Bouncer's Lane, in Section K. Grave No. 861, on the 26th of July 1916. (See photograph of his grave-area in the 13th Hussar file kindly provided by Graham Sacker of Cheltenham. The actual site is that marked by the white card in the centre of the picture.)

References & acknowledgements

Registrations of marriage and death, and Census information for 1851, 1901 and 1911, kindly provided by Chris Poole.


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