Oscar Reginald Croft

Date of birth: 10th April 1890
Place of birth: Ipswich
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Battalion: 19th Survey
Rank / Service No: Sapper, 20281
Died: 17th July 1919, aged 29 years
Buried: Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery (A. I.252)


Oscar was the eighth of 9 siblings born to William Reuben and Louisa Croft (nee Dennis), who married in Ipswich in 1872.

William was born in Ipswich in 1849 and died in Reading in 1940. Louisa was also born in Ipswich, in 1852, and she passed away in Reading in 1932.


The only tie-up with Southampton is that Oscar was lodging with a Mrs Marshall at 68 Bedford Place some time between the 1911 Census and the outbreak of war.

Oscar actually died in Reading, and his parents were living there at the time, so it is a mystery why he is buried in Southampton.



Annie Isabella   b. 1873 Ipswich   d. 1892 Ipswich

Ernest William   b. 27 August 1876 Ipswich   d. 1940 Louth, Lincolnshire

Gertrude Emma   b. 1880 Royston   d. 1950 Portsmouth   Married Percy Oliver Hobbs in Reading in 1905.

Ethel Grace   b. 5 August 1881 Bury St Edmunds   d. 1966 Reading   Married Frederick Percy Derham in Reading in 1906.

John Francis   b. 1882 Bury St Edmunds   d. ??

Florence Mary   b. 28 January 1883 Bury St Edmunds   d. ?? Married ?? in Reading in 1904.

Reuben Samuel F.   b. 1888 Ipswich   d. 1964 Worthing

Oscar Reginald 

Dorothy Minnie   b. 29 July 1893 Ipswich   d. 1964 Newton Abbot   Marrried Arthur H. Sims in Reading in 1915.


Oscar enlisted in the Royal Engineers in Portsmouth on 6 July 1910. He was at their barracks in Chatham at the 1911 Census.

Unusually, his record of war is available. His battalion was in the British Expeditionary Force in France, and they disembarked there on 7 October 1914.


Oscar was at home from 9 May 1915 until the end of January 1916 and he then returned to his unit in France for exactly 1 year.


From now, there are signs that Oscar was not in the best of health. Upon returning to the UK on 1 February 1917, he was transferred to “G” Depot Company.

It was during 1917 that he was to be found in a Glasgow hospital, being checked for heart problems and gastritis.

The authorities must have been satisfied with Oscar’s general health, because he was back in France just before Christmas 1917.


He returned to the UK on 22 August 1918 and he is once again admitted to the Glasgow hospital.

On 28 November 1918, Oscar was officially discharged from the Army on the grounds of no longer being physically fit enough for service.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 27th June 2016


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