Born in 1895 at Wolverhampton, son of Arthur (Iron Founder and Colliery Owner) and Ethel Holcroft. 1911: His parents were at South View, Codsall Road, Tettenhall, Staffordshire. He was a Boarding Pupil at Warwick School where he was a Sergeant in the OTC. For a time his parents lived at The Elms, Woodford Bridge. Before joining the Army he was a Farmer in Gloucestershire.
A Machine Gun Officer, he arrived in France on 3rd October 1915. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme 9 Brigade including 9 Devons led the attack on Mametz in the “La Boisselle” Sector. The Battalion was able to take the German first trench and a stretch of trench behind but the scale of casualties dictated they could do little more. Raymond Holcroft died with his three men, being mortally wounded while going to the aid of one of his gunners. He had already been twice wounded by shell fire earlier in the year.
Other Units successfully captured Mametz later in the day.
Casualty figures for 9 Devons were: 1 officer of the 18 who led the assault was not a casualty. 8 others were killed. 141 other ranks were killed, 55 were missing, with 267 wounded - out of 775 men.
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian