7/455 L/Cpl Frederick George Joseph Cronin NZEF
7/ NZMR Trio - Twice Wounded
The superb 1914/15 Star trio to Frederick Cronin of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, who was wounded on Gallipoli and again during the Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917. Cronin was mentioned by Robin Harper DSO, MC, DCM in his memoirs for Cronin's bravery shown at Bir-el-Abd on 9th August 1916.
Frederick George Joseph Cronin was born 25th June 1891 at Christchurch, New Zealand. Son of William Thomas and Nellie Louisa Cronin (née Bowler). Prior to the First World War Cronin was working as a clerk. On the outbreak of war he swiftly enlisted, joining the Canterbury Mounted Rifles and embarking with the Main Body. Cronin landed on Gallipoli in May 1915. During the Battle of Hill 60 in late August 1915 he suffered a slight shrapnel wound to his head, but remained in the line with his unit. He was evacuated to Egypt in September suffering from enteritis. He returned to duty in December 1915. In July 1916 Cronin transferred to the NZMR Brigade Machine Gun Squadron, serving under Captain Robert Harper. During an engagement at Bir-El-Abd on 9th August 1916 Cronin was involved in the rescue of Harper's brother, George "Gordon" Harper DCM. Gordon Harper had been wounded, but the place where he lay was under threat from Turkish attack, so Robert Harper and Fred Cronin galloped across the field, with Harper picking up his mortally-wounded brother, and Cronin picking up another wounded man, and took them to a place of safety. Gordon Harper later died of his wounds. Robert Harper said of Frederick Cronin "Cronin was invaluable that day and I have recommended him to the Brigadier for mention". In September 1916 he was appointed lance-corporal.
During the Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917 Cronin was wounded once again, suffering a gunshot wounds to his right leg. By 1918 his sickness and wounds had caught up with him, and in March 1918 Cronin was invalided with dyspepsia. He was subsequently returned to New Zealand and discharged in December 1918.
Cronin married Sylvia Daphne Stringer in 1920, and later worked as a farm manager at Kaiapoi and as a commercial traveller in Central Otago. During the Second World War, between 1940 and 1942, Cronin served with the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry at Burnham, earning the 1939/45 War Medal and New Zealand War Service Medal - these being issued in 1954. In later years Cronin retired to Lyttelton. He died at Christchurch on 7th August 1961, and was buried in Bromley Cemetery.
The 1914/15 Star trio is correctly impressed 7/455 L/CPL F.G.J. CRONIN. N.Z.E.F. The WW2 medals are unnamed as issued. The group comes with Cronin's large RSA badge, correctly numbered.
Refer Brothers in Arms: Gordon and Robin Harper in the Great War (ed. Jock Phillips)