D.S.O. London Gazette 1.1.1918.
Mention in Despatches London Gazette 21.12.1917.
Serbian Order of the White Eagle London Gazette 15.2.1917.
Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Edwin Cronshaw, D.S.O., T.D., was educated at Manchester Grammar School prior to being gazetted to the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Manchesters as a 2nd Lieutenant in November 1896. Advanced to Lieutenant in July of the following year, he went on to witness active service in South Africa where he was present in operations in Cape Colony in April 1901, and in the Orange River Colony between May 1901 and May 1902. Returning to the U.K., Cronshaw gained advancement to Captain in January 1903 and remained in the 1st Volunteer Battalion after it was re-titled the 5th Battalion (T.F.) in April 1908.
Mobilised with the 5th Battalion in August 1914, he was granted the rank of Temporary Major and sailed for Egypt in the following month. Landing at Cape Helles, Gallipoli on 6.5.1915, the gallant Cronshaw went on to attract the approbation of his C.O., Colonel Henry Darlington (afterwards Sir Henry, K.C.B., C.M.G.), as evidenced by the following extracts taken from the latter's Letters From Helles (London, 1936):
'... Old Cronshaw got a bump on the head during our Straffe last night, but no damage done. I think it was a bit of a stone from the parapet as a machine-gun knocked our sandbags to pieces just where he and I were standing. He is a perfect marvel and doing most excellent work. I only hope the old Turk won't bag him. On 7 August he climbed out of our trench in the attempted attack on H.11.B. and was promptly blown in again by a shell. It did not seem to worry him at all and all he suffered from was a bit of stiffness. We pull his leg about it, as you can imagine' .
'... Cronshaw, Lee and I got a rifle and rifle grenades and two of our men, and between us, none of us knowing in the least how to use the beastly things, loosed off some grenades. By sheer fluking, we got our second and third bombs right bang in the Turk trench, apparently clean in the lair of the sniper. We trust we blew him up, but at any rate the sniping there is not so confident as it was'.
'... Ernest Fletcher is not well and is resting in his valise; Cronshaw is laid up and I am afraid he will have to go to hospital. There are only three now unlisted of the old originals (Officers), Self, Fletcher and Cronshaw, and I am afraid that there will be only two by this evening' [Darlington, too, was evacuated sick a few weeks later].
Having miraculously survived the horrors of Gallipoli, Cronshaw was appointed to the command of the 1/7th Battalion, Manchesters, and joined his men in the Egyptian Theatre of War in June 1916. Taking up forward positions near Gilban on the eastern side of the Canal, he led the Battalion at the Battle of Romani on 4.8.1916, an action that resulted in the withdrawal of a German-led Turkish Army numbering some 18,000 men. Soon afterwards he was informed of the pending award of his Fourth Class Order of the Serbian Eagle, 'a long delayed recognition of his magnificent work in Gallipoli'. In early 1917, Cronshaw and the 1/7th set sail for France, having accompanied the pursuit of the Turks as far as El Arish on the Palestine border.
Arriving at Marseilles on 10.3.1917, the Battalion was moved up to the Epehy Sector and, in June, to the Havrincourt Sector. But it was not until late September that Cronshaw and the 1/7th were really back in the thick of it, on this occasion at the Third Battle of Ypres, the action that almost certainly resulted in the award of his D.S.O. Suffering from the effects of gas, the stress of command and the tribulations of the unsuccessful programme to 'exchange' Battalion C.Os within frontline Regiments - in Cronshaw's case the 1/8th Worcestershire Regiment - he was evacuated home in January 1918. Not, perhaps, surprisingly, given the strain of constant active employ (and command) over a period safely in excess of two years, the 'Medics' quickly ruled that Colonel Cronshaw was 'only fit for home service', so ending a remarkable operational career.