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Lt Charles Gordon Creyk, 2/24 Regiment

Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 32
Location: Glendora, California
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Here is one of those strange little tidbits that come to light every so often that I thought forum members might find interesting.

I recently purchased a CDV photograph of a certain Charles Gordon Creyk of the 2nd West India Regiment. As usual I began to do some preliminary research prior to posting the image on my website and I soon found out that Creyk and been a member of the 2/24th prior to transferring to the 2/West India. Needless to say I have never heard of a Lt. Creyk serving with the 24th during the Anglo-Zulu War so I looked a bit further through my sources and found the following:

Born about 1856 in Banffshire, Scotland the son of Alexander and Sarah Creyk.

Sub-Lieutenant, Unattached – 13 June, 1874

Lieutenant, 2/24th Foot – 13 June, 1875

Exchanges to 2/West India Regt – 24 November, 1877

Resigns - 14 June, 1882.

Creyk seems to have left the 2/24th just prior to the battalion shipping out from England at the beginning of the 9th Cape Frontier War. What I found interesting was the fact that the officer of the 2/West India that he exchanged with was Frederick Godwin-Austin who as a member of Charlie Pope’s “G” company would be killed at Isandlwana a bit more than a year later. I am guessing at this point since I do not have Creyk’s service papers in hand yet, that Creyk may have been in Pope’s company prior to the exchange with Godwin-Austin.

When I looked at the 1877 Army List and saw Creyk’s name listed along with Younghusband, Melvill, Porteous, Pope, Cavaye, Coghill, Anstey and all of his other former comrades in arms I wonder how his decision to exchange may have affected his life in later years. It could certainly have been one of those “there but by the grace of God…” situations.

Lt. Charles Gordon Creyk - 1877

"Why Worry? Be a coward and be happy."
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Peter Ewart

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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I'm sure I won't be the only one to find your post absolutely fascinating. Although there will always have been instances of "it could easily have been me" in any military disaster, the circumstances of this case do suggest that Creyk could hardly fail to have carried such thoughts for the rest of his days.

The Lambert Weston studio was a well established local photographer in Folkestone from Victorian times right through most of the 20th century - I wasn't aware they had a Dover studio too. (The two towns are only half a dozen miles apart, each having its own garrison). As you'll probably know, the 2/24 was part of the Dover garrison at the time the picture was taken. I have seen local newspaper reports of several local cricket matches involving officers of the Dover garrison and/or the 2/24 around 1876 and 1877, including Bromhead, Pope, Penn Symons etc., but haven't seen Creyk playing. I'll put that down to his being a Scot, assuming he went to school in Scotland.

When you see his service papers, no doubt you'll be able to fill in on his various movements, but - although not necessarily adding much of interest - I have just checked the 1861 census returns for Scotland and located his family. At an address given as Pitchaish in the parish of Inveravon (also his birthplace) Banffshire, he is described as a five year old scholar who had an elder brother, George, 11. Alexander (46) and Sarah (43) concur with the names of the parents you give above.

I didn't find him in 1881 (presumably overseas or in Scotland, where the name Creyk appears to be a variant of the common surname of Craig, this particular version (Creyk) being notable in Banffshire).

It is not difficult to guess what prompted Godwin-Austen to seek an exchange, give his two elder brothers' service in the 24th regiment. Why Creyk sought a switch to the West India Reg't is much less obvious (to me), unless someone can enlighten us on the possibilities. Fred G-A presumably always saw his posting to the WIR as temporary, serving in the Caribbean and West Africa during his two years or so with them. It seems he joined the 2/24 at Chatham not long before the fateful embarkation!

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John Young

Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 982
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Doing it the other way!

Here's Lieutenant Frederick Godwin-Austen of the 2nd West India Regiment!

John Y.
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Lt Charles Gordon Creyk, 2/24 Regiment
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