Cameron Highlanders, South Africa
14/131, Private, 2 Battalion, Auckland Regt
Legion of Frontiersmen, New Zealand
Gazetted, 15 November 1918, p13474 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, although wounded in the foot, he continued with the advancing troops, despite difficult canal and river obstacles. When his platoon was subsequently forced back by a counter-attack he succeeded in carrying a message which involved swimming a river and crossing an area swept by machinegun fire, subsequently rejoining his platoon. Later he undertook on his own initiative, to save a bridge which had been mined, and, although under close fire of machine guns and snipers, he succeeded in removing the charges, returning with the fuses and detonators. Though suffering from a painful wound he displayed the highest degree of valour and devotion to duty.
Queen’s South Africa Medal
British War Medal
Coronation Medal 1937
Coronation Medal 1953
Born 15 July 1879, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Died 25 September 1961, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand.
Buried in the Soldiers Cemetery at Waikumete, Auckland.
James Crichton was born at Carrickfergus, Ireland, on 15 July 1879. Before he settled in New Zealand he had served with the British Cameron Highlanders, and had seen active service in South Africa. He enlisted in the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 22 August 1914 at the age of 35. He embarked for Egypt in October of that year as a Corporal in the New Zealand Army Service Corps. He served on Gallipoli through October to December, 1915, and left for France in April, 1916, as a Company Quartermaster Sergeant
In April, 1918, while serving as a Warrant Officer with 1st New Zealand Field Bakery, he voluntarily relinquished his rank and transferred as a Private to the Auckland Infantry Regiment He returned to New Zealand in June 1919 and was discharged in September of that year. In 1937 he attended the Coronation of King George VI as a Sergeant in the N.Z. Coronation Contingent.