Samuel Cecil (Cec) CRAWFORD MSM

Badge Number: S6801, Sub Branch: Minlaton

CRAWFORD, Samuel Cecil

Service Numbers: 497, 712
Enlisted: 6 June 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Warrant Officer Class 1
Last Unit: Australian Flying Corps (AFC)
Born: Port Lincoln, South Australia, 4 August 1878
Home Town: Minlaton, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Iron Machinist/Mechanical Engineer
Died: Natural causes (Pulmonary Infarct. & pneumonia), North Adelaide, South Australia, 27 May 1944, aged 65 years
Cemetery: AIF Cemetery, West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia
Section: LO, Road: 2S, Site No: 32
Memorials: Minlaton War Memorial WW1, Port Lincoln & District Honor Roll WW1
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Trooper, SN 497, 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen
28 Jan 1900: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Trooper, SN 497, 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen

World War 1 Service

6 Jun 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 712, Adelaide, South Australia
25 Oct 1916: Involvement Sergeant, SN 712, No. 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Oct 1916: Embarked Sergeant, SN 712, No. 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne
22 Jul 1919: Discharged Warrant Officer Class 1, SN 712, Australian Flying Corps (AFC)

OUR FLYING MEN. Warrant-Officer Crawford.

The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA: 1898 - 1954) Saturday 28 June 1919

Warrant-Officer Crawford.

Warrant-Officer S. C. Crawford, of the 3rd. Australian Flying Corps, arrived back to the Peninsula at the end of last week. He is looking exceptionally well and fit after three years' absence on active service. In conversing with our representative he mentioned having had a most interesting experience from an engineering point of view, and of course gained a large and varied amount of knowledge both in and outside the Flying Corps, in which he held an important position. In speaking about flying and the prospects of flying from a commercial point of view he did not think it would get very common in this country for some time to come, although he had no doubt that before very long the air would often be the route used by many business people, especially when time was of great importance to them.



The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA: 1898 - 1954) Saturday 8 June 1918

Flight-Sgt. S. C. Crawford, of Minlaton, writing to this paper from France, says.—A line or two to let you know that I am still alive and kicking along somehow or other. We have been now some months in France and it is a very lively turnout too at times in this disputed part of the world. There is plenty to do in keeping these kites of ours going, they are not kept for just the fun of it, as I have no doubt you are aware. There is a very large amount of work carried out by the air-service nowadays and there will be a great deal more too before this rotten job is over. The airmen are on the go the whole time, when visibility is any good at all. Fritz is not asleep either, he touches us up now and again. The big bombs that air-craft carry shake things up where they happen to lob. One of the machines belonging to my own Flight was caught in a snowstorm recently. The storm reached the drome just before the pilot. He could not make a landing—being a bit too high and unable to see— although we signalled him every few seconds. The storm was so thick that anything 20 yards away could not be seen, so he had to turn his engine on again and get up a few thousand feet. He landed eventually about 60 miles away, with only a bent axle of his undercarriage Take it from me it is not the best of positions to be in, to be caught in a snowstorm with an aeroplane, or for a fog to come up either —but these are minor affairs that airman constantly have to contend with. Here is another incident that happened. Two of our machines went out on a reconnaissance patrol, and were attacked over the lines by five Hun scouts. One of the scouts was soon shot down, we collected the Hun pilot and his machine when night came on as it was close up behind the lines. Our two machines left the aerodrome about 2.30 p.m. and shortly after 3 p.m. one of the machines returned for more ammunition, and the pilot reported that he could not understand the manoeuvres of the other machine. When he again returned the other machine could not be found. Two days later it was proved that the pilot and observer had both been killed in that aerial scrap. The pilot was shot in the head and killed instantly, the observer was shot in the lower part of the back, the bullet coming out in the upper part of his left breast. The machine landed nearly one hundred miles from the scene of the conflict and must have flown for nearly 2½ hours by itself, and then being out of petrol had to land. It evidently did not land in daylight for it came down close to a big lump of a city and no one saw it. It was evening of the following day when the crashed machine with its two dead airmen was discovered. The machine was not broken up as much as might have been expected. It was in a field and well-hidden until one got quite close to it. This same pilot and observer had brought down the scout previously mentioned. It is rather a lonely death, though, to be killed in a plane miles up in the skies, and being carried about for hours. I have mentioned this incident to show the wonderful stability of an aeroplane, but so far as the incident itself is concerned, it is only one of many that I am well acquainted with. Well, Cheero, for this time and kind regards to all I know.


Another Airman from Minlaton.

The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA: 1898 - 1954) Saturday 25 November 1916
Another Airman from Minlaton.

Since Mr S. C. Crawford the well-known engineer and well-borer, of Minlaton joined the A.I.F. very little has been heard of his movements. When Mr Crawford (now Flight Sergt. of C. Flight 2nd Australian Flying Squadron) enlisted, he went into the Exhibition Camp and a week or so afterwards he was made Sergt. No doubt his previous active service stood him in good stead, for his duties of brushing up the raw material as it came into camp, before being passed on to the Mitcham Camp. Upon the 2nd Australian Flying Squadron being formed Sergt. Crawford was selected with a few others to proceed to the Central Flying School, in Victoria, to undergo tests as to their ability and efficiency. To be taken as a member of the Squadron, every man must be a technically trained man. To join the Squadron Sergt. Crawford had to revert to the ranks again and connect up with the A.T.C. as a private and make a fresh start in competition for rank with men drawn from all the states. In a little more than a week Private Crawford had obtained his rank again, and to do this a man had to prove his ability in mechanics as well as military work. Prior to embarkation Sergt. Crawford was made Flight Sergt. thus making him senior N.C.O. of his Flight.

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Medals: Meritorious Service Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA: 1839 - 1900) Monday 29 January 1900



On Friday and Saturday the Military authorities were overwhelmed with applications for inclusion in the Bushmen's Contingent.

Samuel Cecil Crawford, 21, single, Port Lincoln; used to horses, has ridden all his life; accustomed to bush life.

Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA: 1866 - 1954) Thursday 1 June 1944


The death of Mr. Samuel Cecil Craw ford, of Sandergrove, occurred at the Memorial Hospital, Adelaide, on Saturday, May 27th, at the age of 65 years. A wife and five children survive. His remains were interred in the A.I.F. Cemetery, West Terrace, Adelaide, on Monday afternoon last.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA: 1931 - 1954) Wednesday 9 August 1944


Mr. Samuel Cecil Crawford, who died recently, was born in Port Lincoln 66 years ago, and was educated there. He was among the first settlers to begin farming on the areas previously the Poonindie mission station. He served in the South African war; then for a short period worked at the Port Pirie smelters, later visiting Yorke Peninsula. He built a boring plant, and struck the first deep water on the property of Mr. Thomas Rickaby, Minlaton. He continued with this work for some years, thereby increasing land values and greatly assisted in developing Minlaton and Curramulka districts. In the Great War he served for three years, and was a warrant officer, class No. 1. in the 3rd Australian Flying Squadron. He was one of three out of 40 men to gain a certificate at the Scottish school of fitters, Edinburgh, early in 1917, and was awarded the meritorious service medal. Returning to Minlaton, he built a motor garage and carried on business there until 1922, when he sold out to the late Capt. Harry J. Butler. Mr. Crawford was president of the RSSAIL at Minlaton, also a councillor in that district. In 1921 he married Miss A. G. Williams, younger daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Williams, of Curramulka. In 1923, Mr. Crawford purchased Sandergrove estate, Strathalbyn, and in 1934 he sold the homestead and a portion of the land, and built a new house on the remainder known as Fordvale, where his widow three sons, and two daughters reside.