Tag Archives: Ypres

CWG: Guardsman William Crossan

Guardsman William Crossan

William Crossan was born in 1892 in Ballinamore, Ireland. He was the fourth of five children to Patrick and Catherine Crossan.

William disappears from the 1911 Census or Ireland, but has joined the Irish Guards by the time war broke out.

Guardsman Crossan’s battalion was involved in the Battle of Mons, but it was during the fighting at Ypres that he was injured.

Shipped back to the UK for treatment, William passed away on 2nd November 1914. I am assuming that this was at one of the Red Cross Hospitals in the Sherborne area, as this is where he was buried.

Guardsman William Crossan lies at rest in Sherborne Cemetery.


For the stories of more of the fallen from the Great War, take a look at my Commonwealth War Graves page.

CWG: Private Edward Lewsley

Private Edward Lewsley

Edward (Teddy) Lewsley was born in 1894, the ninth of twelve children to James and Charlotte Lewsley from London.

James had worked with horses, and become a cab driver at the turn of the century; Edward started as a general labourer on finishing school.

Edward’s military history is a little vague. From his gravestone, we know that he joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and was in the 1st Battalion. The battalion fought at the Battles of Mons, Marne and Messines.

In the spring of 1915, Edward’s battalion fought in the Second Battle of Ypres and, given the timing, it seems likely that he was involved.

Whether he was on the Western Front or stationed in the UK, Private Lewsley was admitted to the Red Cross Hospital in Sherborne, where he passed away on 30th May 1915.


One of Edward’s brothers also enlisted in the Light Infantry.

Daniel Lewsley first joined the East Surrey Regiment in 1909 and continued through to 1928. This included a stint as part of the British Expeditionary Force in France.


For the stories of more of the fallen from the Great War, take a look at my Commonwealth War Graves page.

CWG: Private Nelson Pitman

Private Nelson Pitman

Nelson Victor Pitman was born in April 1890, the fourth of eight children to George Pitman and Amy Roles Pitman (née Treasure). George was a butcher’s assistant, and the family lived in their home town of Sherborne in Dorset.

As with a number of the other servicemen I have been researching, Nelson’s military records are sparse, probably lost to time. He is not listed as living with his parents on the 1911 census and, in fact, is nowhere to be found.

On 2nd January 1915, Nelson marries Alice Moores at the parish church (Sherborne Abbey). His profession is listed as soldier, so we know that, but this point in the war, he had enlisted.

While there are no records of Private Pitman’s service, his battalion, the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment was involved in a number of the key battles of the war, including the second Ypres, Arras and Passchendaele. The battalion was also involved in the Christmas Truce, so there is a slight chance that Nelson played football with his German counterparts in one of the defining moments of the Great War.

Private Pitman survived the war to end all wars, but was discharged on 22nd February 1919 with a disability. Sadly no further details of this remain.

Private Nelson Pitman passed away eighteen months later, on 21st November 1920. He was 31 years old.

He lies at rest in Sherborne Cemetery.


For the stories of more of the fallen from the Great War, take a look at my Commonwealth War Graves page.