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Person Details
Bulwell Nottingham
James Craydon's birth was not registered but his Army Service Record (ASR) indicates he was born about 1881. The ASR cites next of kin as Henry and Elizabeth Craydon of 66 Main Street Bulwell although it is possible they were not married. No marriage record can be traced and, whilst Elizabeth is cited as nok later in the army record, no trace of Henry Craydon's death exists. James was raised by a Bulwell parishioner 'who from infancy brought him up as her own son' (letter from the Rector of Bulwell Arthur Egerton Rose to the War Office 20/9/1903 seeking Craydon's whereabouts).
He was a gardener upon enlistment.
22 Jan 1917
4019895 - CWGC Website
Army Service Corps
No. 2 Base Remount Depot Craydon enlisted at Kingston upon Thames 13/1/1900 for 7/5 (seven years in the line and five in reserve) with 9th Lancers. 5' 7" tall, he served in the Boer War and was awarded the Cape Colony Clasp and Clasps for South Africa for 1901 and 1902. He was promoted to corporal 9/9/00 and then sergeant 26/11/100. On 8/1/1908 his service was extended to twelve years and and he was described as 'an excellent nco, very good abilities, employed training officers' chargers.' At some point (date illegible) he was transferred to the Army Service Corps at Woolwich. He was discharged in October 1911, re-engaged 5/8/1914 and served at home until 1/3/1916. In February 1915 the army described him as 'intelligent and a good clerk (with) a good knowledge of horses, suitable for any stable occupation, a capable nco... now acting sergeant major in charge of the Remount Lines, carrying out his duties in a very satisfactory manner... sober and reliable.' On 9/9/1915 he was again promoted to corporal and subsequently to sergeant. On 2/3/1916 he embarked for France aboard Huntscraft and served there until his death from broncho pneumonia and chronic nephritis (kidney failure). He was buried at Ste Marie Cemetery Le Havre.
Army Remount Service The outbreak of war in 1914 found the British Army with a total establishment of 25,000 horses and mules, five Remount Depots and four Remount companies, with a remount strength of approximately 1,200 animals. Within 12 days, the establishment had been increased to 165,000 animals, entirely by impressment, and a year later, in August 1915, to 534,971. At its peak in 1917, the Army establishment reached almost 870,000 horses and mules, with remount accommodation for 60,000 animals. To cope with this increase, four additional main Home depots were established, at Shirehampton, Romsey, Ormskirk and Swaythling, and the capacity and complement of each depot were also increased. At Swaythling, for example, on 1 April 1919 (several months after the end of the war), 3,530 horses and mules were stabled and cared for by 757 men. The first three of these depots were used for horses and mules arriving from overseas, whilst Swaythling was a collection centre for animals being shipped abroad. Several other smaller depots were established throughout the country for receipt of locally bred horses. The establishment of officers and men was also increased to cope with this number of animals, from 121 officers and 230 men in August 1914 to 423 officers and 20,560 men in 1917. Many of the Remount officers were drawn from the landed gentry, masters of fox hounds and others who had experience with horses in civilian life, thus avoiding withdrawing Army officers from their normal duties. Such Remount officers included the well known artists Alfred Munnings, Cecil Aldin and Lionel Edwards. A Base Remount Depot and two Advanced Remount Depots went to France with the British Expeditionary Force in 1914 and were subsequently supplemented by two further Base Remount Depots at the Channel Ports. At the peak of operations, these had an establishment of 16,000 to 17,000 animals. Depots were set up in Egypt and Salonika for the campaigns in those regions. Animals for these areas were originally obtained from Australia (horses) and North America (mules) although, owing to difficulties with transport, all animals were later supplied from Britain. The supply of animals for the Mesopotamian Campaign was undertaken by the Indian Government. Over the course of the war, a total of 468,323 horses were purchased in the United Kingdom, 428,608 horses and 275,097 mules in North America, 6,000 horses and 1,500 mules came from South America, and 3,700 mules from Spain and Portugal. Between 1914 and 1920, the Remount Service spent £67.5 million on the purchase and training of these animals. There was initial concern that the neutrality of the United States might prevent the purchase of animals in that country, but this proved not to be the case and remount purchasing delegations were set up in Kansas City, St Louis, Chicago, Fort Worth and Denver. In addition to the British Army, the British Remount Service supplied animals to the Belgian, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and Portuguese armies, and even the American Expeditionary Force. (Wikipedia) Neither James Craydon or his parents Henry and Elizabeth can be traced using census or BMD searches. It is possible that Henry and Elizabeth cited as next of kin in Craydon's ASR were not his parents but the parishioners adopting him (perhaps unofficially).This page has been compiled from his ASR. David Nunn
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