Private Sidney John Crook

Sidney John Crook was born on 2nd March 1892 into the family of Harry and Mary Anne Crook, at Overa Farm, East Harling, in the county of Norfolk, England.

The family were from a farming background, and it was from this hard lifestyle that Sidney and his brothers Harry and Frederick escaped by emigrating to Canada as young men in the early 1900's, leaving their parents and seven siblings in England.

No sooner had they begun their new lives in Saskatchewan, that war broke out in Europe, and the brothers found themselves called to return and fight for King and Country in the war against Germany.

Private Sidney J. Crook enlisted for the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 21st December 1914, and found himself in the 5th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regt.). His older brother Harry had enlisted on 21st August.

Little is known of Sidney's experience of the Great War other than he remained in Europe after initial training until his death in 1916.

Private Crook met his fate on Wednesday 7th June 1916, near Ypres in Northern France, while engaged in action in the build-up to the Battle of the Somme, which would follow some three weeks later.

Sidney, is however, not forgotten. He is remembered on page 73 of the Canadian National Book of Rememberance, and on a memorial plaque in the parish church at Eccles, near his home in England. Sidney sleeps today with over 9000 of his fallen comrades at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, in Flanders, Belgium.

Of seven sons, Sidney paid the ultimate sacrifice, along with two of his younger brothers, Herbert who died on service with the British Army in Iraq in 1920 (Herbert has no known grave), and youngest brother Frank who died from wounds received in World War II. Harry survived the Great War and was discharged from Canadian service in 1919. He lived to old age, and along with Frederick, is survived today by generations of the Crook family still living in Canada.

This account was contributed by David Cole, great-nephew of Sidney Crook, and grandson of Frank Crook.
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