VC buried in Swinton Cemetery
This article was sent to me by Susan Tydd of the "Friends of Salford Cemetries Trust" and tells the story of Henry Crandon V.C. who is buried in Swinton Cemetery and interestingly enough some her findings were not known by the Victoria Cross Association
Henry George Crandon (Harry) was born in Wells, Somerset, on the12th February 1874, the youngest son of William James Crandon and Ellen Howlett.
Sadly just one week later Ellen died, leaving William to care for their 11 children ranging in age from 22 years to the infant Henry.
Unable to care for all his large family William entrusted the upbringing of Henry to The Farningham Home For Little Boys in South Darneth, Kent.
Upon leaving school Henry joined other members of his family and lived for a short period in Higher Llansamlet Glamorgan, and began work as a Haulier.
Private 4080 Henry Crandon’s distinguished military career began in 1893 when he inlisted in "A" Squadron the 18th Princess Of Wales Own Hussars.
He served in India 1894 - 1898.
When the Boer uprising began Henry was stationed at Ladysmith South Africia where he took part in the siege until the town was relieved by General Buller in 1900.
After British forces secured Pretoria on 5th June 1900 the end of the campaign was in sight although Boer commando units persisted in badgering British patrols Crandon was a member of one of these patrols when he gained his coveted VC.
As reported in the London Gazette 18th October 1901: -
"On the 4th July 1901, Private Crandon was reconnoitring with a companion in hostile country at Springbok Laagt, near Ermelo, East of Pretoria, when a party of about forty Boer commandoes opened fire on them at one hundred yards. He and his companion, Private Berry, turned to report back to their unit, but Private Berry was hit in the hand and shoulder and his horse was injured as it fell to the ground. Private Candon rode back, and with enemy bullets whizzing all around him he placed the wounded man on his own horse and led them away on foot for about a thousand yards until they were out of range. He then returned the fire until the main body arrived to assit them. "
The Victoria Cross was presented to Henry by Lord Kitchener at Pretoria on 8th June 1902, at this time he received a promotion to Corporal.
Upon discharge from military service Henry settled in Swinton where he was employed by Sir James Lees Knowles of Westwood Estate as a gardner.
On 13th July 1905 he was part of the Guard of Honour when King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra visited Salford and presented before the couple at the royal carriage when they unveiled the Boer Memorial, on Oldfield Road in Salford.
Before long Henry emigrated to the USA, however immediately at the outbreak of WWI he returned with the West Star Line Shipping Company aboard the Olympic arriving in England October 1914 and promtly enlisted in the 13th Hussars.
Private 24092 Henry Crandon entered WWI on the 17th February 1915 in France, he was wounded in his left foot during the 2nd Battle Of Ypres on the 13th May 1915.
After a period of recuperation he served a further two years in the Balkans, Salonica, Egypt and Palestine, eventually earning his discharge in 1918.
Again Henry returned to Swinton where in the later part of 1918 he married Margaret Elizabeth Garlock, the daughter of William Garlock and Margaret Ann Donald.
They had one daughter born in 1920.
In his subsequent years Henry enjoyed several Victoria Cross reunions; most notable being in 1920 when once again he was presented to royalty when attending "A Party Fit For Heroes" which was His Majesty's Garden Party For Recipients Of The Victoria Cross.
He also attended in 1929 and 1946.
In 1948 Henry had the honour of taking the salute for the Royal British Legion Drumhead at Swinton Cenotaph. Tragically later in the month he was involved in a road accident, he acquired two leg fractures and facial injuries which lay him in hospital for several months.
Henry Crandon VC died peacefully aged 78 on the 2nd January 1953, he was buried with full military honours at Swinton Cemetery.