John Lloyd Croasdaile
1896 to 1960

John Lloyd (Jack) Croasdaile was the son of Henry Frederick Croasdaile and Mary Ellen Croasdaile neé Lloyd.  They were married in Liverpool (Toxteth) in 1891. 
Henry was a master mariner for Cunard. 
Henry and Mary had 5 children; Anna Mary, John Lloyd, Lancelot, Violet  and Frederick.  Anna Mary died as an infant.  Lancelot was killed in WW1 (1918); he was a private soldier.  
Click on photo to see more photos.
                  of Jack Croasdaile
1893 to 1906
Houses where they lived around Liverpool
Jun 1893
Welfield Place.  Welfield Place, Liverpool
Jun 1894
58, Allington St, Aigburth.  Google map of Allington St
Nov 1898
13 York Avenue  Google map of 13 York Ave, Waterloo
Jun 1902
35 Lawton Rd, Waterloo  Google map of 35, Lawton Rd, Waterloo
Feb 1906
7, Dundonald Road, Aigburth.  Google map of 7, Dundonald Rd
Map showing all 5 locations
Birth and early life
John Lloyd Croasdaile was born on 9th April 1894 in Liverpool.  He was baptised on the 3rd June 1894 at St Michael in the Hamlet Church, Aigburth, Lancashire.  Aigburth is now a suburb of Liverpool.
Jack Croadaile birth certificate
Google map of St Michael's church

Source:  Baptism: 3 Jun 1894 St Michael in the Hamlet, Aigburth, Lancs.
John Lloyd Croasdaile - [Child] of Henry Frederick Croasdaile & Mary Ellen
    Born: 9 Apr 1894
    Abode: 58 Allington St
    Occupation: Mariner
    Baptised by: J. F. Anderson
    Register: Baptisms 1839 - 1898, Page 231, Entry 1842
    Source: LDS Film 2147881
1906 to 1914
Childhood and young adult
At some stage the family moved from Liverpool to Calmore, near Southampton. They lived in Wood Lodge, a large house outside the village.  The house has long been demolished, but there remains a Wood Lodge Road in Calmore (

Click on picture below for pictures of Wood Lodge
Wood Lodge,
1913 to 1959
His RNVR service record (National Archives document ADM 340/35/17 can be found here. This covers the period from 1913 (aged 17) to 1959. ADM-340-35-17.pdfADM-340-35-17 Source:  National Archives
First World War
1914 to 1918
At the outbreak of war Jack was 20 years old.  He served in the Royal Navy during the First World War, with the rank of Sub Lieutenant on HMS Whiting, and as  Lieutenant on HMS Tamar and HMS Scarab,  "Insect class" gunboats patrolling the Yangtze River.  He was in Hankow (Wuhan, many hundreds of miles up river) in November 1918, two days before the Armistice.  WW1/index.htm

Source:  Forces War Records.

Post War
1919 to 1939

On 17th October 1919 Jack joined Cunard.   He obtained his sailor's "ticket" in Hong Kong in 1918, special qualification:  Steamships. 
He was also a Commander in the Royal Navy Reserve from April 1918, presumably following demobilisation.  He worked on a number of ships, travelling between the UK and the USA, the Mediterranean.  The Otago Daily Times (New Zealand) has him in Auckland in December 1920 as 3rd Officer on the Cunard ship "Virgilia".

Otago Times, 1st Dec 1920

In 1939 he served on the Queen Mary as Chief Officer.
On 16th August 1928 Jack married Alexandra Florence Farley (Known as Flo) at St Martin in the Fields, London.

“Flo was quite an artist as well and before her marriage, after graduating from art school in NYC went on to be a textile designer for an exclusive firm in NYC and had the honor of personally designing drapery and upholstery fabrics for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's mothers family home in Oyster Bay, Long Island.  She supposedly chose Flo personally after seeing some her designs at the fabric house where she worked.  As a hobby, Flo did water colors but we don't have any of hers unfortunately.  I think they were all sent to her sister, Emily, in Ireland after her mother died.”  Michelle Wilson, Florence's niece.
Pictures of Flo and Jack

Life with Cunard and with Flo.
Jack Croasdaile rose through the ranks with Cunard, working mainly between the UK and North America.  He served on the Berengania and the Majestic, successive flagships of the Cunard line (see photos right).  He eventually (in July 1939) became Chief officer on the Queen Mary.

Details of his (and other Croasdailes) arrivals in New York can be found here Ellis Island records

Farley family photos
Jack and Flo had two children - Joan Patricia, born 15th August 1931, and John Lawrence, born 14th August 1938.
Click on the image below for large images
Click here for
                  pictures of Joan and Jack Junior 
Second World War
1939 to 1945
Jack was assigned to HMS Vandyck (formerly the liner Vandyck) on 17th November 1939.  For information on the Vandyck, see these links.

The Canadian government named a lake in Canada after the Vandyck
This information was found at the Record Office at Kew 29.10.1985 by Maureen Clay.
Adm 177 Navy List Book 4 1940 page 895. VANDYCK.
Capt: G.F.W.Wilson.
Commander J.L.Croasdaile 17th November 1939

Lampart and Holt Line. 1921. Work men, Clark & Co. 13,241 tons.
510.6 x 64.3 x 39.3; 800 n.h.p. 15 knots turbine engines.


On June 10th 1940, following the evacuation from Norway, the Vandyck was attacked by German bombers and sunk. 

Two officers and five ratings were killed.
Twenty nine officers and one hundred and thirty two ratings  survived and took to lifeboats.  They reached the Norwegian village of Andenes ( on the island of Andøy in north Norway.  Jack made a series of drawings in matchboxes of the events; later in POW camp he created a series of paintings from them.  They can be seen here (click on painting image opposite).

In 1972 the bell from the Vandyck was placed in a bell tower in the village of Bleik (where several of the lifeboats came ashore).  Click here Vandyck_material/index.html for details.

According to Chris Goss in his book "
FW Condor Units of World War 2 " (ISBN-10: 9781472812674), the Vandyck was sunk by a Focke Wolf 200 Condor piloted by Heinrich Schlosser. 
Click on image below to see paintings.
  Paintings of attack on the Vandyk
1940 to 1945
Following capture, Jack was sent to various PoW camps in Germany, specifically:
1st July 1940 to 19th July 1941
Oflag IXA (Schloss Spangenberg)
21st July 1941 to 19th June 1942
Stalag XB
19th June 1942 to 28th April 1945
Marlag O, Marlag Milag Nord at Westerkimke near Bremen.
Probable location -
Source:  MI9 demobilisation questionnaire, The National Archives
He was POW number 1135. 
Eventually he ended up in Marlag Milag Nord at near Bremen,   specifically in "Marlag O" camp

Life in the camp - an account by Jim Laurie.  He mentions the Vandyck twice.-
Another account by Sub. Lt. J. E. Proctor RNVR.
An account by Lieutenant B.W.Waters RNVR.

Click on the image below to see a series pf photos of Jack in PoW camp.
PoW photos

While in PoW camp Jack continued to draw and paint.  The picture on the right is a link to some of his works (in addition to the Vandyck sequence)

Film of the liberation of Marlag Nord (source:  Imperial War Museum)
Paintings in PoW camp
Click here for Jack's POW paintings and drawings

Death of wife and children
Following Jack's capture, Flo decided to take the children away to the USA for the duration of the war.  In September 1940 the three of them embarked on the City of Benares at Liverpool bound for Canada.  The ship was torpedoed and sunk.  Passengers and crew took to the lifeboats, including Flo and the children.  They died in a lifeboat of exposure.

Jack received the news whilst in Oflag IXA.  The family has copies of two letters which he wrote to his mother-in-law, one in November 1940 and the other in June 1941.  He is clearly grief-stricken, and the only way he can see to deal with it is to shut himself off from his past; his brother, sister, mother-in-law. The 1941 letter was the last he wrote to his mother-in-law.,%20FLORENCE%20ALEXANDRA,%20PATRICIA%20JOAN,%20JOHN%20LAWRENCE
De-mobilisation and 2nd marriage
1946 to 1954
On demobisation, Jack completed an MI9 demobilisation questionnaire (on 28th April 1945).   Jack put his address as c/o Cunard.  It is not known what happened to Wood Lodge, or his house at 1 Glen Eyre Close, Southampton.  (  
The Ordnance Survey has plotted the bomb-fall locations on this link, .   Focusing on the Bassett area, it would appear that the Croasdaile house was not bombed during the "Southampton Blitz" of November 1940. 
Click on image for larger image.Southampton Blitz

Avril, Jack's young 6-year old niece, remembers him being collected by his brother Fred and being brought to Mansfield where she met him for the first time.  She remembers him being “very thin”.  Jack lived temporarily at the Moss family home on 191 Nottingham Road, Mansfield, from May 1946 to October 1946.

Jack returned to sea with Cunard and on 3rd March 1946 married in Durban (SA) Suzarra Jacoba Fabricius, a South African who had worked for the British during the war.

According to his RNVR record ADM-340-35-17.pdf:

From 17th October 1946 until 5th May 1947 he lived at Birtle Dene on High Oakham Hill, Mansfield. 
Birtle Dene, High
                      Oakham Hill, Mansfield

From 24th June 1947 until January 1948 he and Suzarra lived at 49 Bassett Crescent West, Bassett, Southampton.

 They had a daughter, Barbara, born on 29th Feb 1948 (a leap-year baby) in Southampton.

Jack's last assignment was the Fort Ticonderoga on the 15th November 1947. 
From 20th April 1948 his address was P O Box 57 Riversdale, Cape Province, South Africa.

In April 1948, Jack resigned from Cunard.    In 1949 his address changed. 

From 1950 to 1955 his address was 102 York St, George, Cape Province, South Africa.  Tel 291.

However, Jack left the family when Barbara was about 6 years old, around 1955.    From June 1955 his address was 42 Annet Road, Cottesloe, Johannesburg PO Box 5925
Tel 31-1126.

His address on 13th May 1956 was given as 33 Pietersen St, Hillbrow, Johannesburg.  Correspondence was marked "gone away"

From 12th June 1957 his address was given as Johannesburg Club Box7210, Johannesburg.

2nd October 1958. "6/58 News letter returned."

14th June 1959 "1/11 news supp. returned."
Violet, his sister, attempted with the assistance of the Salvation Army to track him down, as far as is known to no avail.

2nd Marriage certificate
Click here for 2nd marriage certificate
John Lloyd Croasdaile died on 29 April 1960 in Johannesburg of "Natural causes sudden death. Contributing causes: hypertensive Korkasoff's disease and arterio sclerosis" Source:  Death Certificate.
December 2021
Award of Arctic Star.  The Arctic Star campaign medal was instituted in 2013 to recognise the sacrifices of personnel who served north of the Artic Circle in WW2.  It is primarily intended for personnel on the Russia-bound convoys, but anyone who served north of 66° 32’ North Latitude is eligible.  Bleik, the Norwegian village where the survivors made landfall following the sinking of the Vandyck, is 69° 16’ North latitude , which made the crew of Vandyck eligible for the medal.  The medal opposite was received by Jack's daughter on 1st December 2021.
Arctic Star award

More information:

Last updated -1st December 2021