Studio portrait of 2373 Trooper Ernest James Craggs, 12th Light Horse Regiment

Accession Number P04282.001
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Maker Crown Studios
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Studio portrait of 2373 Trooper (Tpr) Ernest James Craggs, A Squadron, 12th Light Horse Regiment. He was born at Alexandria, NSW, the son of A H and S M Craggs of Enfield. After attending Canterbury and Belmore North Public Schools, Tpr Craggs worked as a labourer before enlisting on 10 February 1917. The Regiment went overseas to Egypt and after a period in the desert joined other units in operations in Gaza in April 1917. On 31 October 1917 Tpr Craggs, who was then 19-years-old, was killed during the charge on the Turkish held town of Beersheba. In a letter to Tpr Craggs' mother, his Commanding Officer, Lieutenant (Lt) Edward Ralston, related that "the day before the fight, he (Tpr Craggs) was laughing and joking as usual and was full of spirit all through the long night ride. He rode into action just behind me and the last I saw of him, he was standing in his stirrups and cheering". Lt Ralston was wounded at this point and A Squadron, Sergeant John Bailey went on, "[h]e and I were wounded at the same time, he was hit in the head and chest. I helped him under the cover of his horse which was killed. I held the poor boy's hands while he passed away. He only lived about ten minutes after he was wounded and did not have any pain, Thank God". Tpr Craggs was later buried in the Beersheba War Cemetery, Palestine.