In 2014 the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, Cumnock History Group began researching the names on the War Memorial plus other men and women with Cumnock connections mentioned on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission or in the Cumnock Chronicle of the time. The research is not limited to those who died but also to men and women who served, using family history information.

The group would like to appeal to individuals with knowledge of family members for photographs of the soldier, either in uniform or not, and photos of medals or other memorabilia eg letters sent home from the Front. If you would be prepared to share these on this site, please email the web manager cumnockhistory [at] The group is willing to share any copies of documents found with the soldier's descendants.

Friday, 30 January 2015

William Crawford

William Henry Walters Crawford was born at Townhead in Cumnock on the 19th January 1879 to iron miner Angus McLeod Crawford and his wife Helen Bertram Walters.

His English born mother was from a family of entertainers.

By the 1881 census the family was living in Govan, Glasgow where Angus was working as a fitter, iron boat builder on the Clyde.

By 1891 his mother is a widow, working as a dressmaker in Gorbals. William is working as a telegraph messenger. (I don't think his mother was a widow in 1891 as her husband Angus is living was his sister-in-law Janet (Mrs Samuel Nicol) in 1901 census.)

In 1901 his mother is working as a theatrical costumier in London.

I understand from family members that Bill, as he was known, had various jobs in the theatre and worked with Charlie Chaplin and was in the same digs as him. Bill is second from the left in a barrister's costume.

When war broke out he enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery. He died of wounds in France on 19 Dec 1916.


Son of Angus McLeod Crawford and Helen Walters Crawford, of 106, Nightingale Rd., Wood Green, London.
His war grave is in Quatre-Vents Military Cemetery in Estrée-Cauchy in France.

Cumnock Connections tree