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Crone, John Smyth (Jerry)

All who were privileged to know J. S. Crone will have been shocked to hear of his death at sea. It is as a sailor that one thinks of him first, on the sea he was magnificent, whether racing a small boat or crewing a big one. His physical strength and splendid fitness, his knowledge of seamanship and navigation added to his cheerfulness in hardship and courage in danger, made him the first choice of any knowledgeable skipper. He raced in Mitchell’ s six metre and got the name “ Jerry” by which he was always known, because there were already two other Johns on the boat, and he was a member of the crack crew that raced Maid of Malham to first place under Commander Illingworth. He also cruised extensively in the Baltic in Droleen with Gill who has now lost one of his best friends as well as his brother in the sea war. Off duty he was excellent company, and one of the best of raconteurs he specialised in a form of pseudo-scientific pompous narrative, which he would recite with an expression of intense seriousness. He had also the most astonishing facility in repartee and counter-thrust using words or phrases so exact that they could not have been bettered by hours of patient polish.

But Jerry was more than a charming playboy. He worked as well as he played, and was as charming to his patients as his friends. He had first-class brains and hands, and the vitality characteristic of him went into the performance of all of his jobs. A glance at his medical record shows one of the most consistently good “ sign-ups” ever recorded in those unemotional files. Idleness alone he could not tolerate, and when he was sent at the outbreak of war to a job that existed on paper only, and found the ranks of naval medical service apparently closed to him, he was miserable. When he was finally granted a commission he asked to be put in submarines, and in that service he met his death. Guy’ s Obituaries.

Biographical

Surname(s)Crone
First name(s)John Smyth (Jerry)
Date of birth08 July 1915
Family detailsSon of John Walker Crone and Ida May Crone, husband of Phyllis Irene Crone, of Kirkby Malham, Yorkshire
Previous educationForest School, Snaresbrook, Essex
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1933
Dept / course1st M.B. Revision
Military unitRoyal Naval Volunteer Reserve, H.M. Submarine Sterlet
War / conflictWorld War Two (1939-1945)
Date of death27 April 1940
Age at death24
Rank at deathSurgeon-Lieutenant
Place of deathSkagerrak
Cause of deathLost at sea
Commemoration(s)Guy’ s War Memorial; Portsmouth Naval Memorial; The Roll of the Fallen 1939-45, University of London O.T.C.
NotesSix officers and 35 ratings were lost on the Sterlet
SourcesGuy’ s Hospital Medical School Records, King’ s College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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