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Person Details
02 May 1880
Bernard was the second son of James William McCraith and Maria Elizabeth Mccraith nee Dickinson. His father James (b. 19 March 1853), was articled to Samuel Maples, a solicitor, and later entered into a partnership with him, 'Maples and McCraith'. He was a Justice of the Peace from 1892 and was a member of the Conservative Party and served in local politics; he was knighted in January 1918. James' older brother, John Tom McCraith (1847-1919), also served on Nottingham City Council as a Conservative councillor; he was knighted in 1904. James married Maria, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Dickinson, in 1876 (marriage registered J/A/S Nottingham) and they had five children; Douglas (b. 1 January 1878) and Bernard (b. 2 May 1880) who were both christened at Nottingham St Peter on 28 June 1880, Malcolm (b. 7 February 1882), Kenneth Yorke (b. 1890) and Violet Muriel (b. 1892). All the children were born in Nottingham. Malcolm's date of birth, 7 February 1882, is taken from his Midland Railway record, confirmed by the entry on the Birth Index, birth registered J/F/M 1882, but the CEF Attestation gives his date of birth as 3 December 1882. In 1891 the family was living at 7 Clumber Road, The Park, Nottingham. Three of the four children were at home on the night of the census; Douglas (13), Malcolm (9) and Kenneth (8 months). James and Marie employed four female general servants. Bernard, was a boarder at the Grosvenor School, 107-109 Waterloo Crescent, Nottingham. By 1901 Bernard was a student at the Royal Engineering College, Berkshire, and probably went to India later that year. His parents were still living on Clumber Crescent (Ellenborough House) and were at home on the night of the census with their four other children, Douglas (23) an articled clerk (solicitor)/BA, Malcolm (18) an engineer, and Kenneth (10) and Violet (8). Thetr were five female live-in staff; a domestic nurse, cook, parlourmaid, housemaid and kitchenmaid. None of the family has been traced on the 1911 Census. However, when Bernard's father died on 9 July 1928 he was still living at Ellenborough House in The Park. His widow, Marie Elizabeth, moved to the Old Mill House, Bleasby, Nottinghamshire, and was living there when she died on 3 May 1932. Bernard's younger brother, Malcolm, was a pupil with the Midland Railway (Derby) from 1 October 1900, leaving the Midland Railway on 19 May 1904. He went to Canada in 1910 where he worked as an engineer. He attested in the 30th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force in March 1915 (New Westminster, British Columbia), transferring to the 47th Battalion which came to England at the end of 1915. Malcolm was then commissioned in the Army Service Corps and subsequently had a chequered military career, serving in Egypt, Palestine and Salonika, with over half-a-dozen spells in hospital and facing two courts martial for drunkenness and being absent without leave. Nevertheless, he was promoted lieutenant. Malcolm returned to England in June 1919 and after demobilization returned to Canada in August the same year. He continued to live in British Columbia (Probate: 'of Vancouver and Savary Island'); he died at sea on 31 August 1935. The youngest brother, Kenneth Yorke, was a hosiery manufacturer; in 1932 he was the managing director of Messrs F Johnson, Reed Mills, Mansfield. He died on 2 February 1941; at the time of his death he was living at Cockliffe, Arnold, Nottingham. The eldest boy, Douglas, was a solicitor with the family firm of Maples and McCraith. He married Phyllis Marguerite Lynam in the Chapel Royal, The Savoy, on 15 September 1915, Bernard was the best man. Douglas and Phyllis had they had two sons, Patrick James Danvers (b. 21 June 1916) and Anthony D'Ewes (b. 6 April 1918). He was knighted in 1939. He died on 16 September 1952, his home address was then Holme Lodge, Bingham, Nottinghamshire. His wife survived him. Violet Muriel was unmarried and living with her mother in Bleasby when Lady McCrieth died in 1932.
He went to the Royal Indian Engineering College, Egham, Windsor, Berkshire, and served in the Public Works Department, India, 1901-1908, retiring on the grounds of ill health. He subsequently became an auctioneer and estate agent in Nottingham. He was a Freemason and a Fellow of the Surveyors' Institution.
26 Jan 1919
86121 - CWGC Website
Royal Engineers
He served with 1st Base Park Company. He volunteered for active service on the outbreak of war and was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant Royal Engineers in September 1914, promoted Lieutenant and then Captain in December 1915 and Major in June 1916. He served in France and Flanders from 7 February 1915 but was invalided home the following April after being severely wounded at Neuve Elgise. He rejoined his unit in November 1916 and in 1917 was appointed second in command at a base park near Calais. Extract from 'The Staffordshire Brigade at Wulverghem, April to June 1915' (www.hellfirecorner.co.uk/wulver.htm): 'Not all casualties caused by artillery fire were the result of German shells. On 29th April, 10B Trench, at that time held by "A" Company of the 1/5th South Staffords, was hit by a "short" fired from one of the supporting batteries near Kemmel ... Three other men in the trench, including Captain Bernard McCraith of 1/2nd North Midland Field Company, Royal Engineers, were wounded by shrapnel.' He died at No 30 General Hospital near Boulogne from pneumonia probably as a complication of influenza and was buried at Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte. He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Article published 1st May 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “CAPTAIN B. McCRAITH. “LYING WOUNDED IN BOULOGNE HOSPITAL. “News has been received in Nottingham that Captain Bernard McCraith of the 2nd North Midland Field Company of the Royal Engineers, is lying wounded in a hospital in Boulogne. His injuries, however, are not serious, consisting of flesh wounds in the legs, and he has telegraphed to his parents that he is doing well. Captain McCraith, who is the second son of Mr. J. W. McCraith, was prior to the war a member of the firm of McCraith and McNish, auctioneers. Before entering into that business he followed his procession for several years as an engineer in India, and his knowledge in that direction quickly gained him promotion when he joined the army, and received his commission last September.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 28 January 1919: 'McCraith on 26th inst. At Calais of pneumonia, Major Bernard McCraith, son of Sir James and Lady McCraith, Nottingham, age 38.' Nottingham Evening Post, 28 January 1919: ‘Roll of Honour … Died. Major bernard McCraith, Royal Engineers, the second son of Sir James and Lady McCraith, of South0-road, The Park, Nottingham, died yesterday at Calais from pneumonia. The deceased officer, who was 38 years of age, obtained his commission on the outbreak of war, and went to France with the North Mid. Division RE at the end of February. He was wounded in May, and on returning to the font some months later he was placed in command of the 1/1st North Midland Division Field Co. He had served with the division since that time. Educated for the engineering profession, Major McCraith was for seven years employed in the Indian Government Public Works Department, but the ill effects of the climate upon his health necessitated his return to England. He then entered into business as an auctioneer in Nottingham and was a member of the firm of McCraith and McNish. His elder brother, Douglas, is a member of the Nottingham City Council, and his younger brother, Kenneth, is a captain in the Robin Hoods.’ (www.britishnewspaper archive.co.uk) Nottingham St Thomas (demolished) Register of Baptisms, 6 October 1912 - 7 March 1926 which includes a ‘list of persons connected with this parish of St Thomas who died in the present war’ compiled by Charles Davis, Vicar. The names include 16 servicemen not connected with the parish who died in Nottingham General Hospital. 'Entry 1594, February: Major Bernard McCraith. Died in France. The Park. Age 38 years.' (Nottinghamshire Archives, ref. PR10,241). According to the Register of Soldiers' Effects, Bernard died of influenza. Probate: McCraith Bernard of South-road the Park Nottingham major in HM Army died 26 January 1919 at No. 30 General Hospital near Boulogne France Administration 25 June to sir James William McCraith knight. Effects £2170 12s. Inscription family headstone: 'In loving memory of Major Bernard McCraith, R.E. 46th North Midland Division, the second son of Sir James William McCraith, K.T. and Maria Elizabeth, his wife, who died of pneumonia while serving in France on Jany. 26th 1919, aged 38 years and was buried in the military cemetery Le Baraques Sangatte, Calais.' The family also placed a plaque in Nottingham St Mary's church with the same inscription (WMA 27412). Faculty 13 May 1920. Faculty granted to place a mural tablet in the church at the above parish. Schedule: To provide and place in the parish church of St Mary the Virgin in the County of Nottingham and Diocese of Southwell, a bronze or copper mural tablet containing an inscription in the words and figures following that is to say: [text as inscription on plaque]. (Source: Nottinghamshire Archives, ref. PR 25,983/11.)
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