CCSpriteNode heirarchy

CCSpriteNode heirarchy
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I have a CCSpriteBatchNode, with a texture of for example the alphabet.

I’m attempting to create a simple display hierarchy in which, i can create a abstract ‘wordEntity’ which is added to the alphabetBatchNode, but is in reality composed of for example 5 ‘letterEntities’
The reason I want to do this, is because I want the ‘word’ transformations applied to the ‘wordEntity’ such as position, rotation, etc, to be applied to the ‘letterEntities’

This seems like a very normal usage, and it works.
Except once I create the second entity it crashes the application.

If I do not add the second ‘wordEntity’ to the display hierarchy everything is fine, except of course I cannot see it.
If I add only the second letter to the display hierarchy, and not the first everything is also fine.
If add the ’letterEntity’s to the alphabetBatchNode directly, everything also is fine.

So i do not believe the error i in my creation of the objects etc.
Is this a bug in Cocos2d? I’ve used the same methodology in a game for Cocos2D-iphone