Black Country Genealogy









This is my great grandfather, James Ernest Crutchley, born on Friday 16th November 1883 at 41 New Street in Bloxwich. He was the son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (nee Key) Crutchley.

The photograph above is the only one that I have of James Ernest, it was taken on the occasion of the wedding of his daughter, Nellie in 1942. James Ernest was 59 at the time.

James Ernest married Isabella Duckhouse at Walsall Register Office on Saturday August 25th 1906, his wife's occupation was a brush filler. Together they parented a total of five children and lived for the majority of their married life in the Coalpool area of Walsall.

Before the Great War took James into the military he was employed as a locksmith, afterwards mainly as a pipe or engineer's fitter. During the war James Ernest served as an aircraft mechanic in the Royal Flying Corps, reaching the rank of 'Aircraft Mechanic 1st Class'. He enlisted on 22nd July 1916, as Aircraft Mechanic 2nd Class 41849 James Ernest Crutchley, and was sent to the training camp at Harrowby near Grantham in Lincolnshire. He was awarded the rank of Aircraft Mechanic 1st Class on 1st February 1918. As with all RFC service personnel, James Ernest was automatically transferred into the RAF when the new service was formed on 1st April 1918. The RFC muster roll shows that he was enlisted for the duration of the war and was paid 4 shillings per week, the standard salary for his rank. He was discharged from military service on 30th April 1920.

James Ernest died on Friday March 19th, 1965. His ashes were interred in the same plot in Rushall Parish Church as those of his wife.