No. 241192, 1st/5th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders
Died of wounds on Tuesday 19 February 1918 (aged 20)
Grevillers British Cemetery, France (Grave X. E. 15)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
In some records his surname is spelt Crone and in others Crowe.
Joseph Croan was born on 14 October 1897 in Frederick Street, Newtownards and he was the eldest son of William and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Croan (nee Tibbs or Glenn, sometimes Glynn) who were married on 29 December 1896 in St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church Donaghadee. William Croan (aged 26), a carpenter from Newtownards, was a son of John Croan, a weaver. Elizabeth Tibbs (aged 23), a weaver from Newtownards, was a daughter of William Tibbs, a sailor.
The Croan family lived in Newtownards, in Frederick Street and at 34 Mark Street.
Joseph’s grandmother, Margaret Glynn, and his aunt, also Margaret Glynn, lived at 125 Mark Street, Newtownards.
In 1901 William Croan was working as a joiner in Belfast and boarding with the McClure family in Cadogan Street.
William Croan worked as a carpenter, carter and labourer and he and Elizabeth had six children:
Joseph (born 14 October 1897 in Frederick Street, Newtownards)
Patrick Anthony (born 16 March 1899 in Frederick Street, Newtownards; died of croup 31 December 1902)
Margaret Mary (Madge (born 7 April 1902 in Mark Street, Newtownards)
Elizabeth (born 2 April 1905 in Mark Street, Newtownards)
May (born 19 May 1908 in Mark Street, Newtownards)
John (born 31 May 1911 in Mark Street, Newtownards)
Joseph Croan enlisted in Belfast and served with the Seaforth Highlanders.
In September 1916 Lance Corporal Joseph Croan (No. 241192) was wounded and had treatment for shell shock. He was wounded in action again on 18 February 1918 and admitted to a Casualty Clearing Station. The following day he died in Grevillers Hospital near Bapaume in France.
Matron T.M. Rice wrote to Joseph’s mother and assured her that Joseph had slept peacefully away without any pain. The Chaplain, Rev. W.P. Young, described how Joseph had been hit by a ‘chance shell’ while he oversaw a working party. His arm had been very badly smashed. A few days before going into the trenches Lance Corporal Croan had distinguished himself by achieving second place in the Brigade Cross-Country Race.
Lance Corporal Joseph Croan (No. 241192) was 20 when he died, and he was buried in Grevillers British Cemetery, France. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
MY JESUS MERCY R.I.P.
Lance Corporal Joseph Croan (No. 241192) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.