13 July 2009

Captain William Walter Busby, MC

I'm very pleased to announce that 2nd Newham Scouts & Leaders of 'Busby' Troop, will be attending the unveiling of the Memorial Plaque to the 13th Essex to parade and lay a poppy wreath. In 1908 William Walter Busby was a founding member of 2nd Newham Scouts and they not only changed the colour of their neckerchief to khaki in his memory but also renamed themselves Busby Troop in his honour.

Busby was raised a few streets up from the Boleyn, in Sherrard Road and was one of the first to sign up to The Hammers Battalion. He tragically had to write home after his cousin (or his nephew - further research is needed!) was overcome by the fumes from a coke brazier blocking the doorway and died alongside 8 other men trying to keep warm in their cellar billet at Calonne in March 1916.

Busby won his Military Cross for gallantry on the Hammer's first Trench Raid, July 1st, 1916

"Walter Busby tragically did not live to receive his medal. He was killed in action, as a Captain, on the 13th November 1916 as the Somme Battles drew to a close. His grieving parents Charles and Minnie received the award by post at their home in Sherrard Road, Forest Gate, in September 1917."

'WW Busby Portrait' courtesy of 2nd Newham Scouts; '2/Lt Busby On Parade' courtesy of the Essex Regiment Museum

18250 Pte Crispin

Thomas Crispin was born in April 30th 1890 in Lewisham and was the eldest son in his family.

He lived with his mother, Charlotte and siblings at 142 Walton Road in Manor Park. After attending Walton Road School he became a labourer.

He enlisted on February 20th, 1915, went over on the Princess Victoria and saw the Anglia blown apart. He may well have been informed of the death in November 1916 at Gallipoli of his brother, William Crispin, a 22 year old Private in 1st/4th Battalion of the Essex Regiment.

Thomas was killed on the 1st of June, 1916.

In a letter sent to his parents, Captain C Harford wrote this:
"I was his old Company Commander from the early days in Stratford until the end of January last, and always found him a good soldier and to be relied upon."

Lt William Walter Busby wrote this to his mother:

"I am writing on behalf of the officers and men of D Company to say how deeply we sympathize with you over the death of your son. We have just had a very trying time in the trenches and it was during this time that he actually met his death. At the time he was not actually in the Front Line, but doing his work in a shelter made in the hillside. A piece of shell penetrated this shelter and so severly wounded him that he died shortly afterwards.

Although anything I can say will do little to heal the wound caused by your bereavement, it may be some small comfort to you to know that he has always proved himself a very able and efficient soldier, carrying out orders with cheerfulness which was an example to his comrades, so that your loss will be ours too."