m. 14 Apr 1884
m. 19 Sep 1912
Facts and Events
Jim was involved in swimming at an early age and the picture of him as a young man shows some of the medals he won in England. All the Crocketts were good swimmers and, according to my father, a water polo team made up of Jim and his brothers could not be defeated in their hometown of Stourbridge in England.
Jim and Emily were married September 19, 1912 at Handsworth, Staffordshire, then, one day later, boarded the ship "Empress of Ireland" in Liverpool for a voyage to Canada. The ship arrived in Quebec on September 27. They traveled west to Edmonton where the rest of his family had already established a home the year before. Shortly after arriving in Edmonton, Jim was employed as a swimming instructor, and attendant at the Y.M.C.A.
When the first World War came along in 1914 Jim's occupation in lifesaving kept him from service and he remained in Edmonton while his brothers went off to war. On August 2, 1922 he became Superintendent of the new South Side swimming Pool, City of Edmonton and he continued in this position until his death. The swimming pools in Edmonton at this time were all outdoor facilities and were only open in the summer months. During the winters Jim and his father, Amos, and his brother, Bert leased and operated the City of Edmonton ice arena "Edmonton Gardens".
In 1930, his wife Emily was hit by a train and died, leaving Jim with their fourteen-year-old son, Art. On April 24, 1933 Jim married a waitress named Muriel Rogers. Jim was forty-five and Muriel was twenty-three; they had three children, including a son who survives.
Jim did enlist in the Canadian Navy during World War II when he was fifty-five years old. He was stationed at Cornwallis,Halifax, Nova Scotia where he was instructing navy personnel in water survival.
Jim was due to open the first indoor pool in Edmonton and was overcome by chlorine while mixing the chemicals for the pool. It is thought that handling the chlorine in an unventilated area lead to a heart attack and Jim passed away on August 20, 1951 at age sixty four, leaving a wife and three young children at home. The following obituary appeared in the Edmonton Journal:
James Crockett Dies in City One of western Canada's best known swimming instructors and a resident of the city for 40 years, James William Crockett, 63, of 11952 - 79 Street died in Edmonton Monday. He had been ill for several months. Born in Wales, Mr. Crockett came to Edmonton in 1911. At that time he began work with the Y.M.C.A. Ten years later Mr. Crockett opened the south side pool and remained there until this year when he was to take over the new Composite Indoor pool. Mr. Crockett has taught thousands of youngsters to swim in the "Y" pool and many more in The Journal Learn-To-Swim campaign. Mr. Crockett also coached many city swimmers to championships in swim meets. One of his proudest pupils was his son, Arthur, who amazed officials in 1932 by swimming the 100-yard dash in 56.2 seconds in a provincial meet. He is survived by his widow, two daughters Margaret and Arlene; two sons, Arthur and Donald; three brothers, Bert of Fergus, Ont., George and Tom, of Edmonton, two sisters, Mrs. A.L. How of Edmonton and Mrs. W.D. Davis, Victoria, B.C.; three grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, at 3:30 p.m. from the Andrews McLaughlin Funeral Home with Rev. Edgar J. Bailey Officiating. Interment will be in the Edmonton Cemetery.