The AIF Project


Regimental number181
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
SchoolSt Peter's Collegiate School, Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLaw student
AddressLargs Bay, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 6"
Weight168 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs S E Cruickshank, Largs Bay, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 4 years in the Senior Cadets; 3 years in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve; also in Australian Army Medical Corps Reserve; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date15 September 1914
Place of enlistmentMorphettville, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Field Ambulance, B Squadron
AWM Embarkation Roll number26/46/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board Transport A7 Medic on 20 October 1914
Regimental number from Nominal RollComissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', Supplement No. 29455 (28 January 1916); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 44 (6 April 1916).

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', third Supplement, No.29522 (27 March 1916); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 79 (6 July 1916).

FateKilled in Action 25 December 1917
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialKandahar Farm Cemetery (Plot I, Row D, Grave No. 5), Neuve-Eglise, Belgium
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on Supreme Court Roll of Honour, Adelaide, South Australia. Inscription ('Those Who Fell') reads: 'Ante diem periit sed miles sed pro patria' ['He died before his time, but as a soldier, and for his country.' From the poem 'Clifton Chapel' by Henry Newbolt]. Parents: Robert and Florence CRUICKSHANK, Esplanade, Largs, South Australia. Photo: Peter Dennis
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 2 March 1915.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance Hospital, Anzac, 12 September 1915 (diarrhoea); discharged, 17 September 1915.

Admitted to hospital, 23 September 1915 (influenza); transferred to 1st Casualty Clearing Station, 29 September 1915; to Egypt: disembarked Alexandria, 4 October 1915, and admitted to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis; discharged to Overseas Base, Mustapha, 22 October 1915.

Embarked Alexandria, 25 October 1915; attached to 1st Field Ambulance, Mudros, 23 December 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 27 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Appointed Lance Corporal, Tel el Kebir, 23 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 27 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France (April 1916: exact date not recorded).

On leave to England, 14 December 1916; rejoined unit from leave, 5 January 1917.

Proceeded to Cadet Training Bn, England, 30 January 1917.

Promoted 2nd Lieutenant, 3 March 1917.

Joined 10th Bn, in the field, France, 16 April 1917.

Wounded in action, 16 April 1917 (gun shot wound, right knee), admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, and transferred same day to 9th Casualty Clearing Station; to 2nd Red Cross Hospital, Rouen, 19 April 1917 (wound: severe); to England, 24 April 1917, and admitted to 4th London General Hospital, 26 April 1917; transferred to Cobham Hall, 11 May 1917; discharged to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 30 May 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 18 June 1917; rejoined 10th Bn, in the field, 28 June 1917.

Promoted Lieutenant, 13 March 1917.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 3 August 1917 (infection of eye after removal of foreign body); rejoined Bn, 3 August 1917.

On leave to United Kingdom, 21 October 1917; rejoined unit from leave, 11 November 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 25 December 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0850307N, 5765 Pte R.N. VARCOE, 10th Bn, 6 February 1918: 'He was killed instantly struck in the head by a shell which fell in the dugout about 12 o'clock in the morning on Xmas day, whilst we were in support near Wulverghen (?), Messines. Two other officers were with him at the time, one of whom was Lieut Brown, who had his leg broken and the other officer was uninjured. Lieut. Cruickshank was my officer and I helped to get his body out of the dugout and it was carried to the D/S but I do not know if he was buried.'

Second statement, 71 Sergeant C.W. AMBOR, D Company, 10th Bn, 6 February 1918: 'He was a D. Coy officer, XIII [Platoon]. I was his platoon Sgt. I saw him hit on December 25th in the support trench on the Messines front opposite Warneton. Time, about 11.30 a.m. A shell came right into the dugout. He was got out and attended to by 2 S/Bs, Ptes. Menear and Wilkins of D. Coy, and died of his way to the D/S which was only 100 yards away ... '

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CRUICKSHANK Errol
Red Cross File No 0850307N

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