CRACKNELL, Albert William

No.201026, Private, Albert William CRACKNELL
Aged 27

15th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly 3rd/4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of Illness on Monday, 17th February 1919

Silver War Badge

Albert William Cracknell was born in Horseheath (Linton Q1-1892 3B:504), baptised in All Saints, Horseheath on 12th June 1892, son of George and Susan Lizzie CRACKNELL (née MYNOTT).

1901 census...Aged 8, he was in Horseheath with his father George CRACKNELL [49] farm labourer; his mother Susan Lizzie [40] born West Wickham; sisters Kate [5] and Rose [2]. All except his mother were born in Horseheath.

1911 census...Aged 19, a farm labourer, he was in Horseheath with his parents; brother John [21] farm labourer born Horseheath; sisters Kate, Rose and Maud [6] born Horseheath. All seven siblings survive. On the pension card the family were at Collye Farm, Horseheath, mother deceased.

He enlisted in Cambridge on 31st May 1915, he was from "near the Church, Horseheath. He enlisted in the 3rd/4th Suffolks (Territorials) for 4 years (home or abroad). Numbered 3494, he was re-numbered to 201206 in 15th Battalion. His former occupation was shepherd, he gave his age as 23 years 3 months, height 5 feet 2.5 inches (158.8 cm) and chest 33" to 34.5" (83.8 to 87.6 cm). He sailed from Southampton to Alexandria to join the Eastern Expeditionary Force from 15th March 1917. He was at Base Depot Mustapha Barracks on 9th July, joining his unit (15th Bn.)in the field on 21st September 1917.
He was admitted to 231 Field Ambulance on 9th October 1917 (NYD = Not yet diagnosed) and then forwarded to 31st General Hospital, Port Said (NYD Mental), who then sent him to 19 General Hospital in Alexandria from where on 20th January 1918 via H.M. "Kalyan" he was evacuated to England. and eventually at the Suffolks Depot, Ipswich from 1st February 1918 until his discharge
Recorded as "always simple and childish, employed on unskilled work". Said to have had an attack of measles in Marseilles (presumably on way out to Egypt) and "went wrong in the head". His condition was then put down as congenital but aggravated by illness contracted in Service. He was marked down as unfit for any military service and discharged on 4th September 1918, with silver war badge 442.865. The Pensions Issue Office on 24th March 1919 recorded his death as 17th February 1919.

His Army "Register of Soldiers Effects" records his death on 17th February 1919, after discharge as insane. CWGC records, and therefore his headstone, alone put his death at 22nd February 1919, unless his death certificate (Chesterton Q1-1919 3B:739) is obtained saying other wise, it seems 17 February 1919 is the real date. The pension card records his death as on 17-2-1919 from pulmonary tuberculosis.

Albert Cracknell is buried in Horseheath (All Saints) Churchyard, between the chancel and north boundary

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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