Crighton, George M.

1915 RSM Crighton c
Regimental Sergeant Major George Crighton 1915

Captain and former Sergeant Major George Crighton (occasionally spelled Creighton) served well over 40 years in the Queen’s Own, he was a veteran of the North West Rebellion and Regimental Sergeant-Major.

Crighton was born in London, England, 28 February, 1860 to  Cornelius Passey Crighton and Mary Hood. Emigrating to Canada in 1879, he joined the Queen’s Own in 1884 in B Company 2nd Battalion, his Company Commander was Captain Henry Pellatt.  In 1885 he is listed as a Private in B Company serving during the NW Canada Rebellion. By 1886 he is seen in the photo of the Sergeants’ Mess having been promoted to Sergeant. By 1889 he is granted his Sergeants’ certificate and substantiated in his rank.

Crighton was an excellent shot; qualifying as marksman and winning the Battalion Musketry Badge for best shot on more than one occasion. In 1891 he is promoted to Color Sergeant and in 1892 he is promoted to Sergeant Instructor of Musketry, a Staff Sergeant’s appointment.

Two years before the 1910 England trip, the Regiment expanded to 2 battalions with a Regimental Sergeant Major for the first time and 2 Battalion Sergeants Major. There were a number of photos taken that year and Creighton is seen as the Battalion Sergeant Major of the 2nd Battalion although he did not attend the trip.

In 1912 he represented the regiment at the centenary of the Battle of Queenston Heights and death of General Brock also that year he was one of the founding members of the Maple Leaf Club that encouraged competitive shooting in the regiment. In 1915, (30 years after he fought during the NW Rebellion), he was promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major. At some point after his stint as RSM he was promoted to Captain as this is the rank he was listed in the funeral order for Bugle Major Charles Swift in 1922. He is also seen in an officer’s uniform in the Church Parade photo taken in May 1922.

In 1935, as a veteran of the 1885 Northwest Field Force, Crighton was on the committee that organized the Jubilee Reunion of the event in Toronto.

George died 23 February, 1940 and is buried in St James Cemetery, Toronto.

1904 Col Sgt Crighton
Color Sergeant Crighton 1904, second row left side (sitting)

In 1894 George and his wife Mary (Jackson) had a son Maurice who, when he was old enough, joined the Queen’s Own as his father had. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 Pte Maurice was one of the first to sign-up and joined the 3rd Battalion CEF along with hundreds of other Riflemen from the Queen’s Own.

By early 1915 the 3rd Battalion was in France on the front lines. On May 24 Maurice along with the rest of his company was tasked to provide supporting fire for an attack, unfortunately as Maurice was climbing out of the trench a bullet ricocheted off his mates rifle straight into his head killing him instantly. 9425 Private M Crighton is commemorated on the Vimy Ridge Memorial. You can see Pte M Crighton’s profile here.

Timeline of service:

  • 1884, Pte Crighton, B Company 2nd Battalion, QOR
  • 1885, Pte Crighton serves in NW Rebellion, Library and Archives Canada;
  • 1886, Sgt Crighton, photo of Sgts’ Mess;
  • 1889 15 May, granted Sgt’s certificate and confirmed in rank of Sgt, regimental orders;
  • 1891 6 May, promoted Color Sgt, regimental orders;
  • 1892, appointed Sgt Instructor of Musketry for left half of the Battalion and attached to F Company, regimental orders;
  • 1895, qualified sharpshooter and wins Battalion Musketry badge, regimental orders;
  • 1896, Staff Sgt Crighton qualified sharpshooter and earns silk cross guns, regimental orders;
  • 1897 13 Oct, qualified marksman and wins battalion best shot, regimental orders;
  • 1903, appears in photo of Sgts’ Mess;
  • 1904, appears as Color Sgt in photo of Sgts’ Mess;
  • 1906, appears as Staff Sgt in photo of Sgts’ Mess;
  • 1910, listed as Sergeant Major, 2nd Battalion, photos associated with the trip to England;
  • 1912, listed as Sergeant Major, photo of the Sgts’ Mess;
  • 1912, listed as Sergeant Major, attending the centenary of the Battle of Queenston Heights;
  • 1913, listed as Sergeant Major, photo of the Sgts’ Mess;
  • 1914, listed as Regimental Sergeant Major, photo of the Sgts’ Mess;
  • 1915, listed as Regimental Sergeant Major, photo of Sgts’ Mess;
  • 1922, listed as Captain, pallbearer, on the orders for the funeral of Bugle Major C Swift;
  • 1923 appears in a photo of the Battalion Officers in civilian attire;
  • 1925, listed as attending the 35th Annual Sergeants’ Mess dinner at the Queen’s Hotel, Toronto.
1915 Sgt's Mess
RSM Crighton on the left, Battalion Sergeants Major Atkins and Bell on the right. If you had a ‘Warrant’ and were a Warrant Officer you wore the crown without the chevrons

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