Francis Crake

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Francis William Crake
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
Died28 November 1920, aged 27
Near Kilmichael, County Cork
Allegiance United Kingdom
Years of service1914–1920 
Battles/warsSecond Battle of Bapaume, Battle of Havrincourt, Battle of Cambrai (1918), Kilmichael Ambush
AwardsMilitary Cross

Francis William Crake MC (1893 – 28 November 1920) was a British Army and Royal Irish Constabulary officer.

Early life[edit]

He was born and lived in Newcastle upon Tyne, where he was employed as an Insurance Agent's Clerk.[1]

First World War[edit]

Following the outbreak of the First World War, Crake enlisted into the Hampshire Regiment and served on the Western Front from July 1915 to June 1917. Subsequently, he was selected for officer training and was commissioned into the Bedfordshire Regiment on 27 November 1917. In April 1918, he returned to the front, joining the 6th Bedfordshire, however the following month this unit was broken up and absorbed by 1/1st battalion, the Hertfordshire Regiment. He finished the conflict with the rank of Captain.[2]

Military Cross[edit]

He was awarded the Military Cross for his conduct in September 1918 during the Allied Hundred Days Offensive. His citation reads:

"T./2nd Lt. Francis William Crake, 6th Bn., Bedf. R., attd. 1st Bn., Hert. R.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack. When the other officers became casualties and the company had suffered heavy losses, he reorganised several scattered bodies of men and continued to lead them forward to the objective in a most determined manner. By his courage and example, he assisted materially in the capture of a hostile battery."[3]

Irish War of Independence[edit]

In August 1920 he was appointed District Inspector in command of a unit of the Royal Irish Constabulary Auxiliary Division, based at Macroom in County Cork. On 28 November, while leading a motorised patrol, he was killed in the Kilmichael Ambush. A partly fictionalised account of this incident appeared in the film The Wind That Shakes the Barley.[4]


  1. ^ "Lt Francis William Crake MC". Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Lt Francis William Crake MC". Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  3. ^ "No. 31043". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 December 1918. p. 14234.
  4. ^ "Lt Francis William Crake MC". Retrieved 22 December 2015.