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Oakville soldiers in the 164th: William Crawley

William Asheton Crawley

William Asheton Crawley (1897-1917) was born in Laughton, Essex. When he was 14, he became one of the first students at Appleby College, which had opened in 1911, and played for the rugby team for four years. He joined the 20th Halton Rifles in anticipation of volunteering, and left the college in December 1915 to take a commission in the 164th Battalion (he was attested in Oakville 12 April 1916). A year later he went with the battalion to England, but when it was broken up, he was transferred to the 2nd Depot Battalion and attached to the Royal Flying Corps.

HMT Aragon, about 1908. From Wikipedia.

He was in charge of a draft of the RFC going to Egypt aboard HMT (His Majesty’s Trawler) Aragon, which was taking reinforcements for the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the Palestine campaign. On 30 December 1917, when the Aragon was just outside the port of Alexandria, it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine. Lieutenant Crawley was one of the 610 people on board who drowned that day. He is commemorated at the Chatby Memorial in Alexandria, in St Jude’s church, Oakville, at Appleby College and on the Oakville cenotaph.

Lieutenant Crawley

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