‘No Objection To Few Cows’

The Inter-War Years

A Creighton reservist seeks position as groom with few cowsA Creighton reservist seeks position as groom with few cows - CopyA. Creighton prided himself on always being ready, willing and able. And he needed the money. But what a come down! To think that he, a Lance Sergeant of the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers should have had to turn his hand after the Boer War to odd jobs around the village – from cavalry to cows….

The Boer War

 

Arthur Creighton Boer War service - Copy

source: Find My Past

Arthur Creighton Boer War service

And who was ‘A. Creighton’? Well, it was a bit of a tease as there were two ‘A. Creighton’ brothers in their family, both of whom signed themselves thus, and both of whom were in the army – the deliberate blurring of the edges would continue on the roll of honour with both being listed as A. Creighton. They were the sons of David (from Hungerford) and Martha (from Norfolk) and the eight children had been born in assorted places between here and London until the family had more or less settled at St Mary Bourne at the turn of the century. David moved from farm to farm, following the work.

The 6th Dragoon Guards

But this one was Arthur, born in 1876 in Medstead. He was one of those who was relieved to be back serving King and Country and had been among the first to rejoin. He was now with the 6th Dragoon Guards and they had got in right at the start, with the British Expeditionary Force at Mons.

Harry Payne posstcard of 6th a

Harry Payne postcard of 6th Dragoons WW1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Payne_%28artist%29

At 37, he was getting a little long in the tooth for soldiering, admittedly, but was glad to feel he was doing something important and useful again, though tramping round northern France had none of the exhilaration of life in South Africa. He had been so in love with the country that he had married the girl – Christiana M Kuhn – in 1910, and they had had a daughter, Mabel very shortly afterwards. Both were in married quarters in Canterbury, waiting for him. But, when the war was over, they would all go back to God’s own country and farm, at least that was the hope that would sustain him throughout the war, however long it lasted.

Medal card for Arthur Creighton


Notes

We know about his marriage to Christiana through the army index of overseas marriages. Whether she had temporarily slipped his mind (or the ‘single’ was an army clerical error), while Arthur had rejoined the army in 1911 she was living in army married quarters in Canterbury with their daughter Mabel, aged three months!

5 thoughts on “‘No Objection To Few Cows’

  1. It’s interesting that given his humble beginning that he was commissioned into a prestigious Calvary Regiment? It’s unclear whether he was a Regular Officer of the QM Category (they were commissioned as Lt (QM) and rarely got past Capt(QM). He might have been commissioned in the TA and than recalled to the colours in his TA Rank, would need his full Army records to find out that.

    • Thank-you Ernie. Arthur Creighton has given me lots of problems of identification, mainly because of the one you identify – as the son of an AgLab would he really have made it to {Acting} Lieutenant/2nd Lieutenant? Given that he had probably been in the army for nearly 20 years, is it possible that he signed up for the Boer War as a groom, made himself useful at the front in ways not normally expected of a groom, was promoted, and gradually made his way to Lance-Sergeant so that by WW1 he was able to be promoted to 2nd Lieutenant?

      I have not been able to track down full army papers anywhere, just the medal cards and the Boer War being ‘mentioned in despatches’ . The clues are as follows – best Sherlock Holmes hat and magnifying glass to the fore, please:

      1. There are 15 traces in the National Archives index of medal cards of Creightons with the initial A as part of their names, but only 2 true ‘A’ s: one in the RFC and one in the RAMC. bit.ly/1tpQSnF . There are 7 ‘Arthur Creighton’s bit.ly/1r3cCos – difficult to eliminate the other 6 except that, eg, a Northamptonshire regiment would seem unlikely (though we have seen some postings of this sort).

      2. There is an A F Creighton who is a 2nd Lt in the Dragoon Guards WO 372/24/14351 whereas Arthur Creighton was WO 372/5/84502 in the 6th Dragoon Guards (presumably just a coincidence).

      3. There is an ancestry tree which shows Arthur Creighton marrying in South Africa in 1910. I have been in touch with the owner – her connection is via Arthur’s parents, and she also believes him to be the Lieutenant who was awarded the MC. She has pointed out that Christiana was living in married quarters in Canterbury while Arthur is listed with the regiment and incorrectly as single.

      The place of birth in the 1911 census (Alton) is the same as the earlier ones with David and Martha his parents.

      She also says “We know that Arthur was a Lance Sergeant in the 9th Queen’s Lancers by 1911 when he was in barracks in Lydd, Kent. Without his service record I don’t know when he left that regiment but there’s no reason to suppose he didn’t join the Dragoon Guards at some stage. Junior officers were very vulnerable during WWI when their led their men into battle so it’s quite possible that an experienced NCO would be promoted to fill a gap.”

    • Many thanks for commenting, Frances. I have both Arthur and Mabel, but of course we are still in 1914 as I write (the blog is going to continue, I hope, until the end of the war but I have to be careful not to write anything that wasn’t known in 1914 and I think Arthur was born a little later?)

      As you can see from the comments above, we have been not absolutely sure about the identification. So glad to be in contact with a relative, and I hope that you can confirm for us that he was indeed an Lieutenant? Is there any chance you might have a photograph which you could add?

      And it is perfectly all right (according to our own rules!) to talk about the future in the comments, so if you can tell us that they lived happily ever after in South Africa, that would be good to know 🙂

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