Tony Crawley-Boevey was born on 10 January 1921, his father having served with great distinction in the DCLI.

Educated at Repton School, he became a Lloyds Insurance Broker in 1938 and, in the course of 1939, joined the Inns of Court Regiment (TA). On the outbreak of war, he was sent to Sandhurst and was commissioned into the 7th Hussars in 1940.

After a short period at the Training Regiment at Perham Down Tidworth and at GHQ UK Land Forces, he joined the GHQ Liaison Regiment, known as Phantom Force, in November 1940.

By November 1942 he was in North Africa and fought with Phantom Force right through to the capture of Tunis, subsequently landing in Italy on the day of their surrender. He was present at all four Battles of Cassino and then joined the 7th Hussars, outside Ancona in 1944 and fought up through Italy to the capture of Venice and Trieste and on via Yugoslavia into Austria.

In 1946 he went as GSO 3 (Ops) at Allied Force HQ at Caserta Palace, and the following year returned to England and was commissioned into the 17/21 Lancers as a Regular officer.

He spent the rest of 1947 and 1948 with his Regiment in Palestine and returned with them to Catterick.

He married Cynthia Bagot in 1950 and their daughter Susan was born in 1951 by which time he was a Senior Instructor (Wireless) at Mons OCS. He was back at Regimental duty at Munster in 1954, commanding HQ Squadron, and the following year attended the Staff College.

He spent 1956 at GHQ Middle East in Cyprus, during which time he was divorced, and returned to the 17/21st Lancers to command ‘C’ Squadron in 1957 and 1958, after which he went as Senior Instructor to the Wireless School at Bovington. He married Josie in 1960 and in due course she presented him with two sons and a daughter.

The years 1961 to 1964 found Creepy, as he was then often called, in Singapore as DAA and QMG, where he was awarded the MBE. He then became G2 (Ops and Plans) at Scottish Command and in 1966 became Senior Staff Officer at Fortress HQ, Gibraltar. After this, he did his only spell in London at RAC Records before retiring from the Army in 1969.

Creepy then had another successful career with Tyndall Unit Trust Managers before finally retiring in 1986, by which time he and Josie and their family were in residence at Piddletrenthide, Dorset, where he was for many years a familiar figure with his dogs and pipe.

In the Army, Creepy had much-enjoyed polo in particular and he remained a keen golfer for very many years. Warned some two-and-a-half years ago that he had but months to live he carried on his normal life, still walking his dogs and smoking his pipe, defying death and the doctors almost to the very end.

He died on 17 October 1996 and his funeral was well attended by many friends. He will be very greatly missed and our sympathy goes out to his family.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 7th Hussars
  2. Timeline: Middle East (Egypt and Libya)
  3. Timeline: Italy 1943-5