Ernest Percival Crook

Date of birth: 1889
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: SS Arcadian
Rank / Service No: Assistant Cook
Died: 15th April 1917, aged 27 years
Commemorated: Tower Hill Memorial


Ernest was the youngest of 4 known siblings born to George James and Annie Crook (nee Clewer), who married on 23 July 1876 in Radford, Nottingham.

The couple had 5 children but it has to be assumed that 1 died in infancy.


Annie was born in Bromyard in 1851 and she passed away in Southampton in 1913.

George was born in Southampton on 20 July 1848. He belonged to the Mercantile Marine and was a Fireman on board SS South Western.


Whilst on a trip from Southampton to St Malo on 22 March 1889, he succumbed to apoplexy (probably a stroke).



George Frederick   b. 1877 Southampton   d. 1937 Southampton   Married Edith Fowler in Southampton in 1908.

William Arthur Henry b. 17 October 1878 Southampton   d. ??   Married Rose Emily Joyce (died 1910) in Southampton in 1898. Married Bessie Edwards in Southampton in 1915.

Albert Walter   b. 1883 Southampton   d. 1949 Southampton   Married Charlotte Masters in Southampton in 1906.

Ernest Percival


Ernest married Rose Matilda Knox, who was born in Southampton in 1888, in the city in 1913. There is no evidence of children.


Arcadian was built in Barrow-in-Furness in 1899 and was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1915.

She was converted into an armed merchant cruiser and was pushed into service as a troop ship in the Meditteranean.

Arcadian was, for a time, the HQ of General Sir Ian Hamilton in the early weeks of the Gallipoli campaign.


On the 15 April 1917, Arcadian was en route from Salonika to Alexandria with a company of 1335 troops and crew.

In the southern Aegean Sea, she was hit by a torpedo fired from UC-74. The troops had just completed a boat drill and this enabled 1058 souls to be rescued by the accompanying destroyer.

Arcadian sank in only 6 minutes, so it was very good fortune that so many survived.


233 Army personnel were lost, plus 10 naval ratings and 34 crew members.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 27th June 2016


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