Henry Cyril Crozier becomes 12th Huddersfield Town player lost in armed conflict
- New name added to Huddersfield Town's Roll of Honour
- Former player Henry Cyril Crozier lost his life in active service
- Henry Cyril Crozier becomes the 12th name on the Club’s Roll of Honour
Huddersfield Town’s Club Statistician Alan Hodgson has unearthed a new name to be added to the Club’s Roll of Honour.
The Roll of Honour commemorates those Huddersfield Town players who have given their lives in service of their country.
Henry Cyril Crozier played as an outside-right for Huddersfield Town Reserves in the Midland League during 1911/12.
Usually known as Cyril, he was born in Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, in 1889 and was educated at Walton National School and Preston Grammar School.
He subsequently trained as a teacher at St Mark’s College, London, where he captained the college football team and was noted as an all-round athlete.
Having graduated he returned home and worked for the Sheffield Education Committee until the outbreak of war.
Cyril then enlisted with the 12th (Sheffield City) Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment, more popularly known as ‘The Sheffield Pals’.
The battalion was raised on 10 September 1914, and he may have been amongst the near 1,000 volunteers recruited in the first two days.
Cyril’s football career had begun a few years previously with Sheffield junior side Commercials FC, and in June 1910 he was signed by Castleford Town secretary-manager Leslie Knighton (later assistant-secretary to Dick Pudan at Huddersfield Town between 1912 and 1914).
Outside-left Cyril became great pals with Ike Whelpton who had been signed at the same time from the Lupton Street United Methodists Chapel team, and the pair played for ‘Cas’ in the Midland League during 1910/11.
After Mr Knighton left to become assistant-secretary at Manchester City, the two friends then went to Huddersfield Town in October 1911 and played for the Reserve team.
Whilst Whelpton briefly made it into the first team, Crozier remained in the second-string, and even played the odd game for Sheffield United Reserves.
In the summer months he also turned out for Sheffield United Cricket Club, but like many other men his sporting career was ended by the war.
He was rapidly promoted to Sergeant and became a musketry instructor, with many of the Pals’ early drills actually taking place on the Bramall Lane cricket and football fields!
After months of training the Sheffield Pals next served briefly in Egypt, helping to guard the Suez Canal against possible attacks by the Turkish Army, but were then posted to France.
Cyril’s bravery was soon to earn him the Military Medal as: “On the night of 15/16th May 1916 the battalion was opposite Serre when it was heavily shelled for over two hours with some trenches completely obliterated.
“Sgt Crozier helped to dig out some of the men who had been buried by the shellfire in the dugout. He did this with no consideration for his own safety at the height of the bombardment.”
Tragically he was to then lose his life on 1 July 1916, the disastrous first day of the Somme Offensive. In probably the worst episode in British military history, Sgt Henry Cyril Crozier became one of some 60,000 men killed, missing or wounded that day.
The Sheffield Pals alone suffered 588 casualties from a fighting strength of perhaps 750.
His medal was posthumously awarded to his father and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
There are now 12 names on Huddersfield Town’s Roll of Honour, CLICK HERE for more information.
Town’s full ‘Roll of Honour’ is now as follows:
Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment
Died 18 October 1914
Henry Cyril CROZIER
Sergeant, 12th (Sheffield City) Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment
Died 1 July 1916
Charles Edward RANDALL
Private, 4th Battalion, Coldstream Guards
Died 27 September 1916
Dr Leigh Richmond ROOSE, M.M.
Lance Corporal, 9th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
Died 7 October 1916
Lance Corporal, 9th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Died 9 April 1917
Ernest George KENWORTHY
Gunner, 135th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died 10 November 1917
John Edward DIDYMUS
Private, 8th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
Died 12 April 1918
Robert Henry GORDON
Leading Aircraftman, IX Squadron, RAF Volunteer Reserve
Died 18 September 1940
Francis Cornelius CHIVERS
War Service, Barnburgh Main Colliery (South Yorkshire)
Died 2 April 1942
Able Seaman, H.M.S. Albrighton, Royal Navy
Died 28 April 1943
Private, A.I.F. 2 Coy, Australian Army Service Corps
Died 21 November 1944
Alexander Skinner JACKSON
Major, Army Welfare Service
Died 15 November 1946