Original British WWI Personal Album of Lt. Colonel George Rowlandson Crosfield
Original Items: One-of-a-kind Set A wonderful, if unprepossessing, album of letters, photographs, cuttings and ephemera belonging to the First World War Officer Lieutenant Colonel George Rowlandson Crosfield CBE, DSO, (1877-1962).
He was a founding father of the Royal British Legion, and great friend of Earl Haig, born April 29th 1877, educated at Harrow School, alongside Winston Churchill. Commanded 77th Company Imperial Yeomanry in the South African War for which he received the Queen's Medals with five battle honors.
Crosfield crossed to France in February 1915 as second in command of the 14th South Lancashire Regiment and subsequently commanded the 2nd Suffolk and the RWF in the field. There he lost a leg by amputation as a result of a bomb attack along the front line at St. Eloi in March 1916, and later was Commissioned in the RAF becoming an observer in 1918.
He remained a member of the volunteer forces between the wars working as Deputy Chairman of the family firm J. Crosfield & Sons, Warrington, now part of Unilever PLC.
He was a past national chairman of the Royal British Legion and past Chairman of the Not Forgotten Association. He received the Distinguished Service Order in 1916, Commander of the British Empire in 1931 and was created Officer of Legion de Honneur, France, Commander White Lion, Czechoslovakia and Commander of the Order of Star of Roumania. He died on August 22, 1962.
Prima facie the album doesn't look very promising as the covers are missing and there are bits spilling out all over the place. However, on glancing at the past cuttings that fill the first few pages one quickly realizes that this is truly a treasure trove.
Charting the early days of the Royal British Legion, as Crosfield was one of the founding members along with Earl Haig. It contains ORIGINAL signed letters from the following:
Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII)
Winston Churchill, whilst serving as The Chancellor of the Exchequer
French Marshall Foch
French Marshall Petain
French General Gouraud and French General Weygand
Dorothy Haig, Douglas Haig's widow
Many photographs, never published, featuring many of the above people, as well as Crosfield meeting with the President of the United States, attending various functions, etc. There are also many official invitations to these occasions such as invitations from King George V and the Prince of Wales to attend on them at Buckingham Palace and Marshall Foch's Funeral. There are really too many to list here but it is clearly a collection of considerable historical importance pertaining to WW1 and the era immediately following. Over 90 pages in all, amazing!
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