Royal Irish Rifles
Died of disease on Wednesday 4 May 1932 (aged 37)
Killysuggan Graveyard, Newtownards, Co Down
Newtownards and District War Memorial
The name Joseph Crooks MM is listed on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the booklet produced for the Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony held on Saturday 26 May 1934 he is described as a Rifleman in the Royal Irish Rifles who was awarded the Military Medal. The organising committee of the day decided to include the names of ex-servicemen who died up to that date from what they considered to be war related causes, whether as a result of wounds or disease.
Joseph Crooks was born on 15 September 1894 in Portaferry and he was a son of Andrew and Mary Crooks (nee Magee).
Andrew Crooks worked as a labourer and he and Mary had at least two children:
Jane (born around 1886/1887)
Joseph (born 15 September 1894 in Portaferry)
Andrew Crooks died and in 1901 the widowed Mary Crooks was working as a charwoman and she and her children, Jane and Joseph, were living at 25 High Street, Portaferry.
During the Great War Joseph Crooks served as a Rifleman with the Royal Irish Rifles and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry.
Joseph Crooks and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Blaney (sometimes Blayney) were married on 9 October 1922 in Newtownards Roman Catholic Church. Joseph Crooks of 104 Mill Street, Newtownards was a printer, single, full age and a son of Andrew Crooks, a labourer (deceased). Elizabeth (Lizzie) Blaney of 32 South Street, Newtownards was a domestic servant, spinster, full age and a daughter of James Blaney, a coachman.
Joseph Crooks was 37 when he died of a brain tumour on 4 May 1932 at the UVF Hospital, Craigavon House, Belmont, Belfast and he was buried in Killysuggan Graveyard, Newtownards. His wife Eleanor Blaney Crooks lived at 23 Bangor Road, Newtownards and she, along with Joseph’s sister and brother-in-law, placed a death notice in the Newtownards Chronicle. It contained the text:
On his soul, Sweet Jesus, have mercy
Rifleman Joseph Crooks MM is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.