William Thomas Ellis Curzon (1890–1935)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 2768 & 200684 1/5th Battalion

Photo courtesy Rosalind Davy

William Thomas Curzon in WW1

William was born in 1890, a coal miner hewer before he joined the Foresters in 1914, enlisting at Crich aged twenty-four. He entered France in March 1915 and was discharged wounded in March 1917, receiving the Silver War Badge. He had his left arm amputated as the result of a bullet wound to his elbow. The Sherwood Forester’s records show him mentioned as rescuing men buried under sandbags at Kemmel during May 1915. Later he was mentioned as keeping two guns in action at Hooge.
On returning to Crich he became the village postmaster.Wiliam married Louisa Taylor in 1921. In 1935 he died of natural causes in the Derby Royal Infirmary aged forty-four.

He enlisted at the same time as Alfred Bollington, John Thomas Grice Walker, Walter Mellors and Jack Cauldwell; they had consecutive service numbers. Crich voluteers October 1914 –

Crich recruits in 1914

Ian P. Macdonald; William Burr; William Curzon; John Walker; Nelson Martin;
Jack Kneebone; William Frost; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Cauldwell;
Jack Porter; George Perry; Noble Tomlinson

Crich recruits 1914

Included with these recruits are probably:
William Curzon; Jack Porter; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Kneebone; Duncan Coooke;
Billy Burr; Noble Tomlinson; Tom Coleman; Billy Frost; Luke Coleman; Jack Cauldwell; George Perry.
It is believed that John Roe, brothers Herbert and Steven Bollington (and possibly John) are also amongst this group.

Medal Index Record
Awarded Victory, British War and 15 Star Medals.
He entered France 1 March 1915

Army Pension Record
William's address was given as Rising Sun Lane Crich. He attested, at Crich, on 17 October 1914. He served with 1st Reserve Batn. and 5th Batn. Notts & Derby Regt. He was aged aged 24 years and 4 month with a height 5ft 7½in;
17/10/14 Attested
7/11/14 Appointed L/Corpl.
18/11/14 Promoted Corpl.
31/12/14 Promoted Sergt.
22/2/15 Transferred Sergt to 1/5th
1/3/15 BEF to France
1/7/16 Gun shot wound to his arm
24/9/17 Discharged under Para 392 xvi King's Reg.
No longer fit for War Service (wounded)
Kings Certificate 5873
War Badge 156132
Next-of-kin: mother Emma Curzon (Mount Cottage, Crich)
Brothers: John Curzon (New South Wales) and Joseph Curzon (Rising Sun Lane, Crich)

Field Ambulance Record
WTE Curzon aged 26
Sergeant 2768
Years Service: 9 years
Month with field forces: 18 months
Ailment: Gunshot wound left arm VIII1
Date transferred to Sick Covoy: 02/07/1916
Number of days under treatment: 1
Notes written in the Observations Column: Hospital Ship England
Religion: Wesleyan
Regiment: Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
Battalion: 5th Battalion
Other Unit: B Company
[Notes: Army Wound Classification – VIII1 gunshot wound of the upper extremities, simple contusion or wound ]

The Sherwood Foresters Roll
Enlisted Notts & Derby 2768
Silver War Badge shows enlisted 17/10/14
Discharged 24/03/17 due to wounds
Brought to attention of CO 14/15 May 1915 at Kemmel for rescuing men buried under sandbags, no action taken
Brought to attention CO 14 June at Hooge, kept two guns in action at Hooge; mention forwarded to Brigade
Shown in 1933 RHQ Benevolence Book as having served two and a half years with the colours and was aged forty-three years
Died of natural causes in DRI and lived at the Market Place, Crich

Newspaper Reports

Derbyshire Courier, 5 February 1916
Mr and Mrs William Harrison, of Roes Lane, Crich, have received news that their son, Private Ernest Harrison, of the East Surreys, is ill in hospital at Le Havre, France. No further details are yet to hand. Private E. Harrison was for a period in the Royal Garrison Artillery, but was later transferred to the East Surreys. His brother William of the 1st Sherwood's, is still in hospital at Stretford, Manchester, suffering from severe shrapnel wounds sustained in France some months ago. Recently he underwent an operation at the Manchester Infirmary, when he had some pieces of shrapnel removed.
Another Crich soldier who is ill in hospital is Sgt William Curzon, news having been received recently by his mother to this effect. Sgt Curzon who is in the 5th Sherwood Forester's, stationed somewhere in the south of France, states in his letter that he has been bitten in the eye by a venomous insect whilst he was asleep.

Derbyshire Courier July1916

Newspaper photograph of William Thomas Curzpn


Derbyshire Courier, 26 August 1916, recorded the Crich funeral of Grenadier Guardsman Frederick Wragg. Both William and Frederick were in the County London Hospital, Epsom at the same time and that William Curzon was with Frederick Wragg when he died.

Ripley & Heanor News , 20 April 1917
Ex-Sergt. William T. Curzon, of Crich, has been appointed postmaster for the village. The appointment has given the greatest satisfaction. Curzon was one of the first to volunteer, and for some time was in training at The Hayes, Swanwick. He went to France in February 1915, and was wounded on the Somme, being hit in the left arm with an explosive bullet, which shattered the elbow. The arm has had to be amputated.

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 15 March 1935
Legionnaires attend Funeral of Mr W.T.E.Curzon at Crich
photo of W T E CurzonA well-known Crich native and resident died on Friday in Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, viz, Mr William Thomas Ellis Curzon, son of Mrs Curzon, and the late Mr Joseph Curzon, Crich. The deceased who was aged 44, had undergone an operation a few days previously. A wife and one son are bereaved.

Born Crich where he had always resided, Mr Curzon was the secretary and treasurer of Crich Comrades Club. His father was an old soldier, and Mr Curzon at the age of 16, became a bugle boy in the Territorials, previous to which he been a member of Crich C.L.P. he became attached to the 5th Notts and Derby territorials and remained with them until a year before the outbreak of the Great War. He joined up however at the outbreak of war and was in charge, a sergeant, of the first contingent of recruits from Crich. He was wounded at Gommecourt, on the Somme, and came back to Epsom, where, as result of his wound he had his left arm amputated. He was mentioned in dispatches. He was discharged in 1919.

In 1920 his activities led to the formation of a branch of the Old Comrades at Crich, of which he became secretary. A year later the branch was converted into Crich Comrades Club Limited. He was secretary until some time ago, when he was appointed to the dual position of secretary and treasurer.

He was also a member of O.C.A. Crich branch and Crich British Legion branch. He was interested in music and one-time he was bandmaster of Crich United Band. He was also conductor of Crich P.M.Choir. As a boy he worked at Lea Mills, and later worked for a short time at Wingfield Manor colliery.
The funeral was on Tuesday, at Crich Parish Church, the Rev H.E. Jones (vicar) officiating. The hymns sung were "Jesu lover of my soul" and "O valiant hearts" Mr J. Hayward played the "Dead March". The mourners were – the Widow; Ken (son); Mrs J Curzon (mother); Nancy; Pem; and Mrs H. Moss (sisters); Mr and Mrs J. Curzon (brother and sister-in-law); Mr W. Taylor (father-in-law); Mr Harry Moss; Mr and Mrs W. Taylor; Mrs H.Taylor; Mr and Mrs Arthur Allen; Mr and Mrs Edward Martin; ex-Sgt Holmes and Mrs Holmes, Fritchley; Miss Marjorie Blount, Matlock; and other friends.

Capt Harry Slater of Nottingham, represented the British Legion County Association and Mr John I. Woolley the Old Comrades Association. Mr Norman Smith (chairman) and other members represented Crich Comrades Club, and Mr John Lister (chairman) and Mr E. Burt (secretary) represented Crich British Legion branch. Legionnaires were also present from Ambergate.

The bearers, members of Crich Comrades Club, were Messrs. Charles Mason, James H. Dawes, Thomas Wood and John Sulley. Mr Maurice Deacon (president of the club) was unable to be present, but he sent a letter of sympathy.

In addition to those from all the members of the family and friends, there were flowers from – Mr and Mrs Maurice Deacon (Chase Cliffe); Mr and Mrs P.P. Taylor; friends from Crich Trinity Methodist Church; Ambergate British Legion branch; members of Crich British Legion branch; members of Crich Comrades Club and O.C.A; his little friend Joy; Mrs Ashley and family and Lorna; Mrs R Heappey and Harry; Mr and Mrs Heappey; Mr and Mrs G.Taylor

His brother Joseph Curzon also served and is on the Roll of Honour.


1901: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Emma Curzon Head (wdw) 41   Crich
John Curzon son 13   Crich
Mary A Curzon daughter 12   Crich
William T Curzon son 10   Crich
Lizzie Curzon daughter 9   Crich
Annie Curzon daughter 8   Crich
Emma J Curzon daughter 3   Crich
Joseph Curzon son 1   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 65 page 15

1911: Mount Cottage, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Emma Curzon Head (wdw) 51   Crich
Mary Curzon daughter 22   Crich
William Curzon son 20 Coal miner hewer Crich
Annie Curzon daughter 17 Mill hand winder Crich
Emma Curzon daughter 13 Errand girl in hosiery mill Crich
Joseph Curzon son 11 School Crich

RG14PN20984 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED13 SN156

1939 Register: Hill Cottages, Crich
Louisa Curzon b.27 July 1893
Joseph K Curzon b.13 October 1923 hosiery trimmer
[William's family in 1939, he had died in 1935]