Topic: Roy Mansel Bendyshe Crowther (1896-1974)

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Roy Crowther was born in Plymouth England on August 26 1896. His father was Major Edward Samuel Dashwood Crowther who served in India in the Royal Marine Light Infantry. Following him leaving the army due to an athletic accident the family moved to New Zealand settling in Cambridge.

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Roy was the great great great grand nephew of Lord Nelson being descended from Nelson's sister Catherine. This line of descent came through the Bendyshe family, one of the prominent land owning families in the Cambridge area of England. There was strong military involvement in his family background. His father died in 1904 at the age of 43 and his mother took the family of three children to Tauranga, living on Cameron Road.

His 1916 diary indicates that he may have been in the Territorial Army prior to the war [see notes on relation to some correspondence in December 1916]. Although apparently aiming to be a lawyer at the time of enlisting he was farming. He also went farming in 1917 while recuperating from wounds received in 1916 in the battle of Fers-Corcelette. This may have been influential in his service in England in 1918 where he was involved in bringing in the spring harvest which may have saved him from going back to France.

With the outbreak of war Roy enlisted, advancing his age by one year. Despite family pressure to take up a commission which they were in a position to organise Roy decided to remain a Private. He served at Gallipoli, Armentiers, and the Somme. After recovering in 1917 he re enlisted in 1918 and returned to England. Following the war he married and eventually settled in Mangere Auckland where he lived with his family of wife and 4 children until his death at 78 on April 24 1974.

He never became a lawyer or a farmer. He worked at the Otahuhu Railway yards and on the wharves. Like so many men the war became a major contributing factor to their future prospects, personalities, and capabilities.  

Geoff Tune

"Advice has been received here to the effect that Mr Roy Crowther, who is well known in Tauranga, has been wounded in the fighting in the Western Theatre"

Bay of Plenty Times, October 16 1916.

Roy's Military service record is online here:

  1. 1915 transcript (below)
  2. 1916 transcript (click here) 
  3. 1918 transcript (click here) 


This article was archived at Perma CC on August 8, 2016 (

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Roy Mansel Bendyshe Crowther (1896-1974)

Year:1915, 1916, and 1918
First Names:Roy Mansel Bendyshe
Last Name:Crowther
Date of Birth:August 26 1896
Place of Birth:Plymouth
Country of birth:England
Date of death:April 24 1974