Malvern College Second World War Casualty

Lt-Col. Robert George Cracroft M.C.

House and time at Malvern: Sch, 1923 - 1928.

Regiment: Royal Tank Regt..
Died: 13 August 1944 aged 34 in France. Killed in action in Normandy.
Battle: Operation Overlord: June – August 1944. Cemetery: Ranville War Cemetery IV. B. 17.

Son of Colonel Hugh Cracroft, R.A.S.C., and of Georgina Cracroft (nee Stevenson), The Garth, Combe Down, Bath.
House Prefect.
Husband of Helen Elizabeth Cracroft, of Shaldon, Devon.
148th (9th Bn. The Loyal Regt. [North Lancashire]) Regt.
Royal Armoured Corps

'By his devotion to duty and gallantry throughout the action on the 21st May 1940, south of ARRAS, he showed a very good example to others. On one occasion, having noticed some German infantry in position in a hollow supported by A.T. guns, he gathered together such ‘I’ Tanks as were available on the spot - 3 in number, and personally led the attack.
He was mounted in a Light Tank which is thin skinned and vulnerable, to A.T Gun fire. With utter disregard to his safety he dashed amongst the enemy, the majority of whom were killed, and their vehicles which included armoured reconnaissance cars, were destroyed. On another occasion, after the remnants of the battalion were in a position of readiness to assist our infantry in the event of a counter attack, he personally organised the attack, successfully resisting an encounter with German Tanks (one at least of which was a heavy type) which resulted with the withdrawal of the enemy.
This measure was carried out during a heavy enemy air attack, which made Captain Cracroft’s task very difficult.'
MC Citation: WO-373_15_16

Personal tribute in The Times:— Many of his friends at home and indeed all those who knew Robert Cracroft's worth must be thinking of him to-day, for his was a personality that stood out head and shoulders among his fellows. His last duty before the present campaign in France began was performed as a G.S.O. instructor at the Staff College. Here he was surrounded by officers, teachers, and students alike, all of them picked out from their fellows as having attainments above the average, but, even in that high company, it is no exaggeration to say that he showed himself a very pattern of the finest type of British regimental officer and one of which the old British Regular Army might well be proud. He combined with great charm of manner a quick brain, a strong character, determination, and ideals. Had he been spared, he might well have gone far in the Army as a leader of men.