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
|1893 to 1906
Houses where they lived around Liverpool
||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
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 (http://goo.gl/maps/XRH4S)
||Click on picture below
for pictures of 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||Source: National
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
1919 to 1939
|On 17th October 1919
Jack joined Cunard. He obtained his sailor's
"ticket" in Hong Kong in 1918, special
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".
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.
of Flo and Jack
|Life with Cunard and
||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
||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
1939 to 1945
|Jack was assigned to HMS
Vandyck (formerly the liner Vandyck) on 17th November
1939. For information on the Vandyck, see these
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
Adm 177 Navy List Book 4 1940 page 895. VANDYCK.
Commander J.L.Croasdaile 17th November 1939
DICTIONARY OF DISASTERS AT SEA DURING THE AGE OF STEAM. H.M.S. VANDYCK page 732.
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 (http://goo.gl/maps/VuOd1)
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
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
1940 to 1945
|Following capture, Jack
was sent to various PoW camps in Germany, specifically:
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.- http://www.stnazairesociety.org/Archives/jimlaurie.html
Another account by Sub. Lt. J. E. Proctor RNVR. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/user/16/u2760916.shtml
An account by Lieutenant B.W.Waters RNVR. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/66/a4098666.shtml
|Click on the image below
to see a series pf photos of Jack in PoW camp.
|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
Film of the liberation of Marlag Nord (source: Imperial War Museum)
Click here for Jack's POW paintings and drawings
wife and children
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. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-11332108.
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.
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. (http://goo.gl/maps/dA7VS).
The Ordnance Survey has plotted the bomb-fall locations on this link, http://blog.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/2010/11/mapping-the-southampton-blitz-70-years-on/ . 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
|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
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.
They had a daughter, Barbara, born on 29th Feb 1948 (a leap-year baby) in Southampton; according to his daughter they lived in Bassett; it's not known whether this was 1, Glen Eyre Close, Jack's pre-war house.
Jack's last assignment was the Fort Ticonderoga on the 15th November 1947.
In April 1948, Jack resigned from Cunard. Around 1951 the family emigrated to South Africa.
However, Jack left the family when Barbara was about 6 years old, around 1954.
Violet, his sister, attempted with the assistance of the Salvation Army to track him down, as far as is known to no avail.
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