The death of Sir Hugh Matthew Fiennes Croft, Bart., of Salisbury Court, Uralla, N.S.W., last month removed one of the best known and best loved figures in New England, northern New South Wales. Although in his 81st year he enjoyed robust health practically to the last, and only a few days before his death had driven his own car to Tamworth on business.
Sir Hugh Croft was the son of the late Sir Herbert G. D. Croft, of Lugwardine Court, Herefordshire, England, and his mother was formerly a Miss Marsh, who was born in Australia. He was educated at Herefordshire Cathedral School and came to Australia in the early 1890's to manage Boorolong Station which, with Salisbury Court, formed the Marsh Estates. He moved to Salisbury Court in 1913 and had lived there ever since.
In 1900 he married Miss Lucy Isobel Taylor, eldest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. P. G. Taylor, of Terrible Vale, Kentucky, N.S.W. Lady Croft survives him, together with six children, viz., Bernard (now Sir Bernard), of Salisbury Court; Herbert, of Wongalee, Uralla; Frederick, of Lugwardine, Barraba; Richard, of Glendower, Walcha, N.S.W.; Archer, of Keswick, Uralla; and Mrs. G. R. S. Park, of Braemar, Manilla, N.S.W. There are 17 grandchildren and five great-grand-children.
Sir Hugh Croft inherited his title in August 1941 on the death of Captain James Herbert Croft, a son of the late Sir Herbert Archer Croft, Bart. Captain Croft, who was only 34 years of age at the time of his death, was unmarried and had no brothers, and as Sir Hugh was next in line he became the 12th Baronet. The family home is Croft Castle, in Herefordshire, and the baronetcy was created in 1671.
A quiet, unassuming man, Sir Hugh Croft had a splendid record of public service in northern New South Wales, where he had always taken a keen interest in public affairs and had shown outstanding ability as an organiser. He was a foundation member of the Guyra Agricultural Association and an active committeeman until he left the district. He also became a member of the first Dumaresq Shire Council and was its chairman for several terms. When he moved to Salisbury Court Sir Hugh joined the Uralla Show committee and subsequently was president of that body for many years and afterwards patron. He was a member of the Armidale P.P. Board for 36 years, acting as chairman for 30 years, and foundation chairman of the Lower North Coast and Dingo Destruction Board. He loved all forms of livestock and took a keen practical interest in pasture improvement, his association with the latter extending to membership of the consultative committee of the C.S.I.R.O Regional Pastoral Laboratory, at Chiswick, N.S.W.
The late Hugh Croft was a keen sportsman and a great churchman. He was a first-class cricketer, footballer and rifle shot and was a foundation member of the Uralla Golf Club. A member of the Church of England, he was elected to the Diocesan Synod in 1905 and was a member until his death. He also took a lively interest in various other church activities.
'Croft, Sir Hugh (1873–1954)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/croft-sir-hugh-262/text263, accessed 12 December 2013.
from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 July 1954