copyright © Wartime Heritage Association 2012 - 2022
Website hosting courtesy of Register.com - a web.com company
Letters from the Front
Keith Bruce Crosby (December, 1915)
England Dec 1915
I received your letter last night. I just returned from a pass to London and found five letters waiting for me. I had been
on pass for four days. I saw all the interesting things there were to see including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace,
Westminster Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Whitehall, Zoological Gardens, St. James Palace, the Tower.
The last day I was there I hired a guide and saw the guards change at Buckingham Palace. The guards there consist of the
Royal Horse Guard, Life Guards, Grenadier Guards. They change to the tune played by the bands of the Irish and Scots
Guards. We have to salute the colours as they are carried by.
There were six of us Yarmouth boys of the 40th stayed together: Lance Corporal Cliff King, Lance Corporal Adelbert
Taylor, Lance Corporal Harry Smith, Lance Corp. Emerson Porter, Harry Porter and myself.
London is packed full of troops - English, French, Canadian, Belgian, Australian, New Zealand and Indian; everywhere you
go there you see soldiers.
The place is also full of fellows back from the trenches on furlough. They come in from the trenches right here, clothes all
muddy and torn, rifle and kit on their back. I have seen a good many of the First Contingent boys back, among them quite
a few of the Princess Pats. I was with a English fellow the other night who is out of the King’s Own. He had been there
fifteen months and was back home for nine days. What a good time we had together.
Keith Bruce Crosby
Private, 24th Battalion
Date of Death: April 11, 1916
Listed on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Keith Crosby was born on April 25, 1897. He was initially with the 40th Battalion
in England and was transferred to the 24th Battalion. He was killed at the St. Eloi
craters south of Ypres, Belgium.
There had been action along the front of the St. Eloi craters between the 27th of
March and the 16th of April 1916.
On the 6th of April at 3.30 am the Germans attacked, taking four craters. The
front line positions were complex and difficult made harder by the fact that the
six new craters now made a total of 17 in the area, and telling them apart
especially in the dark was nearly impossible. In the following days, the Canadians made several attacks to try and recover
some of the craters, but these failed, and in view of the forthcoming major operations on the Somme no further offensive
moves were made here. The fighting was often confused with heavy enemy shelling. Snipers were active and the salient
was narrow within range of the German guns. The body of Keith Crosby was never recovered.
A Monument Speaks (A Thurston; pub. 1989)