‘Oliver’ Cromwell Nelson Pennington, Private 2630, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of Enteric Fever 7th December 1915 at Alexandria, Egypt, aged 42
Cromwell Nelson Pennington was born in 1872 in Newton Heath, Manchester, the son of Elizabeth and Joseph Pennington, a silk dyer. By 1881 the family had moved to Sutton in south Macclesfield and eight year old Cromwell was living at 26 Pool Street with his parents and older sister Mary (20). Ten years later Cromwell was living at the same address with his parents and was employed as a soap packer.
Cromwell must have joined the army when in his late teens or early twenties as he served in the South African war and received two medals.
By 1911 Cromwell was living at 41 Lunt Hill and employed as a fustian cutter at Whitehead’s, Bridge Street, Macclesfield; he had a boarder, Maggie Hancock, also a fustian cutter, staying with him. Cromwell’s nickname Oliver must have been well-known in Macclesfield – so much so that when the enumerator gave him his form for the 1911 census it was addressed to ‘Mr O. C. Pennington’.
Cromwell probably rejoined the 7th Cheshire Regiment (Territorial Army) in Macclesfield soon after the start of the war. Following a period of training in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay.
It is not known when Cromwell became ill but he was hospitalised with pneumonia and later succumbed to jaundice and enteric (typhoid) fever. He died of enteric fever at Alexandria No 15 General Hospital on 7th December 1915, aged 42. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 31st December 1915:
ANOTHER TERRITORIAL’S DEATH: FOUGHT IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR – Official news has been received of the death of Private Cromwell Nelson Pennington, 1/7th Cheshires, which occurred in hospital. Private Pennington had resided in the Sutton district all his life. He served in the South African war and received two medals. Deceased was 42 years of age and before the present war was employed as a fustian cutter. He was present at the Suvla Bay landing and was later taken to hospital with pneumonia, which was followed by enteric fever and jaundice.
Private Cromwell Pennington is buried in Grave Ref. B. 31 at Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Cromwell Pennington, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.