Full name and title: Driver Harry Leonard Cruse
Harry Leonard Cruse was born in Camberwell in April 1896. His father, Harry Sr, was a self-employed carpet manufacturer's agent, originally from Hoxton. In 1901 the Cruse family was living at 90 Denmark Road, Camberwell. Sharing the house was a brother-in-law, Herbert Tiggard. By 1911 the family had moved to 114 Fawnbrake Avenue, Herne Hill. They had a lodger, Alfred Jubbe. Harry, an only child, was a pupil at Alleyn's School, which he left in 1912.
During the war Harry L. Cruse served in the Honourable Artillery Company as a driver. His unit, B Battery (2nd City of London Horse Artillery), saw active service at Aden and in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign from 1915 onwards. In February 1916, B Battery joined the Suez Canal Defences at Balla. B Battery typically consisted of about 200 officers and men, as many horses, four 13-pounder guns and a dozen carriages. B Battery then served with the Imperial Mounted Division, taking part in the advance across the Sinai. The battery took part in the First and Second Battles of Gaza (March to April 1917) against the Ottoman Turkish forces.
Harry contracted malaria and died on 27 October 1918. He is remembered at the Damascus Memorial in Syria.
Herne Hill Connection: Resident
Address: 114 Fawnbrake Avenue, Herne Hill
Cause of death: Died due to illness
Rank at death: Driver
Date of death: 27/10/1918
Age at death: 22
Country of death: Egypt
Memorial: Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, B.5
Locally remembered at: Alleyn's School