Crozier, Frank Percy (1879–1937), soldier and RIC officer, was born 9 January 1879, probably in India, only son of Maj. Burrard R. Crozier, Royal Scots Fusiliers, and his wife Rebecca Frances, daughter of J. W. Percy, RM. Samuel Murray Hussey (qv) was a great-great-uncle; Col. Richard Malone of Baronston, Co. Westmeath, an uncle; and Maurice Fitzgerald, knight of Kerry, a cousin. Crozier, educated at Wellington, spent much of his youth at his aunt's house in Castleknock, Co. Dublin, and in Kerry, Westmeath, and Limerick. Too short and light for the regular army, he joined a volunteer corps (1896); went to Ceylon to learn tea-planting (1898); served in mounted infantry in South Africa (1899–1901), earning a commission; and transferred to the West African Frontier Force, serving mostly in Nigeria to 1905. He went on half-pay (1907), then to the reserve (1908), and resigned his commission in 1909, taking up farming, trapping, and other work in Canada. In late 1912 he returned to the UK because of the Ulster crisis, joined the British League for the Defence of Ulster and the Union (1913), and commanded the special service section of the West Belfast regiment, UVF (1914). He and many of his men then joined the British army on the outbreak of war, and Crozier served in 9th Bn, Royal Irish Rifles, in 107th (West Belfast) brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division. He was one of the division's two battalion commanders to go (against orders) ‘over the top’ on the first day of the Somme offensive (1 July 1916); the other was killed. Promoted to brigadier-general, he commanded 119th Brigade (1916–18) and 40th Division (1919), then served till March 1920 in the Baltic states, attempting unsuccessfully to reorganise the embattled Lithuanian army as its inspector general. His honours included the DSO (1917), Croix de Guerre, CMG (1918), and CB (1919).
Crozier had made his mark as a ‘thruster’ – he asserted that ‘the finest training ground of all is in no man's land and the German trenches’ (Brass hat, ch. 5) – and a commander capable of summary discipline. He may have owed his next post to this reputation, but it gave little scope for these qualities. He was appointed on 3 August 1920 (and enrolled on 4 August under RIC service number 72229) to command the new force later known as ‘Auxiliary Division, RIC’, a name he may have coined. His task was to form, train, equip, and deploy units; but he did not control operations, and his power of dismissal – the main disciplinary weapon – was curtailed in early November. By the time of ‘Bloody Sunday’ (21 November 1920) Crozier was aware of lawless action among Auxiliaries, some of which he ascribed to the malign influence of an ‘inner crew’, a shadowy group of officials, politicians, and others. On 23 November, after investigating incidents of this type, he was injured in a car crash and incapacitated for several weeks, during which K Company of the Division burned parts of Cork city. Among many other incidents, a store in Trim, Co. Meath, was looted and burned by N Company members on 9 February 1921. When Crozier summarily dismissed twenty-one men, Gen. H. H. Tudor (qv), chief of police, reinstated them pending a full inquiry, and Crozier – asserting that this had been done for fear of what they might reveal – resigned (19 February) amid public controversy. He later asserted that Tudor (‘too nice a man’) and Gen. Sir Nevil Macready (qv), military commander-in-chief, had been dominated by ‘a small, silent, powerful, unscrupulous, and vicious gang of men’ (Impressions, 254, 290). He never held another official post, and died 31 August 1937.
He wrote several books of memoirs and A word to Gandhi: the lesson of Ireland (1931) and worked for the League of Nations Union and Peace Pledge Union. Crozier married (1904) Ethel, daughter of Col. R. Cobb of the Indian Medical Service; after her death (1921), he married Grace Catherine, daughter of Dr Croker Roberts of Co. Leitrim. He has been wrongly identified in captions to photos of the 1920–21 period: in pl. 21 of Edgar Holt, Protest in arms (1960), the officer shown is not Crozier; in pl. 105 of Tim Pat Coogan and George Morrison, The Irish civil war (1998), Crozier is on the left, not in the centre.