Topic: Private George Lawrence Crossen

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A soldier of the Great War who died in Coronation Hospital, Christchurch.

Private George Lawrence Crossen – 6/3671  George Lawrence Crossen 

George was born at Brookside on 15th November 1893, son of Thomas and Ellen Crossen. Before enlisting he was working as a farm labourer for W. H. Conway, Kirwee. He had previous military experience having served with 13th Regiment. He was 5ft 8in tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair.

George enlisted on 18th October 1915 and was assigned to 9th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company. After training at Trentham he embarked for Suez on 8th January 1916 and disembarked on 8th February. As he was suffering from measles he was sent on the NZ Isolation camp at Zeitoun, arriving  9th February 1916. On 25th he was admitted to No 4 Auxiliary Hospital at Heliopolis and was not discharged to duty until 9th March. He was attached to the strength at base depot and then joined the 1st Battalion at Ismailia on 18th March. Shortly after he embarked for France from Port Said on board the Franconia. An interesting notation on his record shows that he was attached to the  Mayor for fire duties at Amentiers between the 1st and 19th of August. He was wounded in action in during fighting at the Somme on 27th September, suffering a severe wound to his elbow. He was sent to 3rd Stationary Hospital in Rouen, then evacuated to England on board the Panama on 30th September. He was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley on 3rd October and later transferred to the No 1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst on 2nd January 1917. On 30th January he was classed as unfit and then embarked for New Zealand on board Maheno from Liverpool on 18th March. A medical board was held in Christchurch on 29th May 1917 and the findings were that a piece of shrapnel, which struck him in the right elbow, had caused destruction of the elbow. In the words of the medical report “the lower end of the humerus was pulverised” his hand was limp, meaning that the right arm was useless. The disability was permanent. He was sent to Coronation Hospital, Cashmere, Christchurch. Sadly it seems that during his hospitalisation he had been exposed to Phthisis (Tuberulosis) and it was this that killed him on 13 October 1919, age 26. He was buried in Lincoln Cemetery and remembered on the Rolleston Roll of Honour.


Coronation Hospital was used as a sanatorium for the treatment of what was called consumption which is now known as Tuberculosis

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Private George Lawrence Crossen

First Names:George Lawrence
Last Name:Crossen
Date of Birth:1893
Place of Birth:Brookside, Canterbury
Date of Death:13 October 1919
Place of Death:New Zealand
Memorial or Cemetery:Lincoln Cemetery, Canterbury.
Age at death:26
User Name:L M Seaton
Occupation before enlisting:Farm Labourer
Marital Status:Single
Nominal Roll:21/24
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:18 October 1915
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of Thomas and Ellen (nee Scully) Crossen, of Rolleston, Canterbury.
Service Number:6/3671
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:8 January 1916
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Theatres of War:Served in Egypt and on Western Front
Cause of Death:Died of illness, tuberculosis
Other biographical information:Brother of Robert Joseph Crossen.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Private George Lawrence Crossen by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License