CGTW: The Crease Family

There are a few big names from the Victoria of a century ago who kept popping up in our research.  Some, like Arthur Currie, the famous Canadian general who taught school in Victoria before the war, and Canadian boxing champion Joe Bayley, seem to fit in the newspapers as the biggest names in Victoria’s news.  Others are just there.  Constantly.

Sarah Crease and her mother having tea at the family's Pentrelew mansion.  BC Archives accession number 97906-13.

Sarah Crease and her mother having tea at the family’s Pentrelew mansion. BC Archives accession number 97906-13.

The Crease family is a big-money and high-society family that settled in Victoria in the 1870’s (I think).  Coming from military history (one ancestor was a famous naval commander in in the War of 1812), the Crease family settled into Victoria’s social elite circle with their “Pentrelew” home in the Rockland area.  Two of the Crease brothers appear prominently in Victoria’s landscape during the First World War.  Lindley Crease was a lawyer and future politician who received letters from many colleagues and friends who joined the army and served overseas.  His younger brother Arthur was…well I’m not quite sure what he was.

Arthur Crease was a superstar in all meanings of the word.  He was a champion rower with the (eventually Royal) Victoria Yacht Club in the 1890’s, played for numerous amateur sports teams, and was a founding member of the St. Mary’s the Virgin Anglican Church in Oak Bay.  But I still haven’t quite figured out what he did for a living.  Most importantly he signed up for the military and went in as a Lieutenant with the 88th Victoria Fusiliers.  Serving in France for two years, Arthur wrote many letters home to his brother which have been kept in the Archives.

Lt. Arthur Crease, 1916.  BC Archives, 97906-13

Lt. Arthur Crease, 1916. BC Archives, 97906-13

The Crease family shows up all over the newspapers, but in the fine print.  Members of the family were involved with the Victoria Golf Club, the Brentwood Bay School, local churches, the military, legal matters, and charities.  It was quite fun to go searching for their names, and to find out there’s a short avenue in Victoria named after them!  Can you find it?

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