CLAYDON, Walter Frank

No.7448, Private, Walter Frank CLAYDON
Aged 27
no overseas service in this war, hence no medals

1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Struck by Lightning on Wednesday, 16th August 1915

Born in Bury St.Edmunds in 1888 (3rd qtr 4a:678) son of Henry Charles and Cordelia CLAYDON (née BRANCH)

1891 census...Aged 2, he was at 22 Churchgate Street, Bury St.Edmunds with his father Henry Charles CLAYDON [40] bookseller/newsagent; his mother Cordelia [29] born Clerkenwell, London; brothers Henry C [11], Albert Lewis [10], David [8] and Arthur [6]; sisters Alice [5], Emily [4] and Ada Eleanor [1]. All except his mother were born in Bury St.Edmunds.

1901 census...Aged 12, he was at 38 Westgate Street with his parents; brother Arthur(newsboy), Charles L [9],Joseph P [5] and Alfred T [11 months]; sisters Alice, Emily E, Ida E, Annie R [7] and Rosalie [2]. The new siblings all born in Bury St.Edmunds. Brother David was at the Suffolk Regiment Depot

1911 census...He was with the Suffolk Regiment in Egypt. At 61 Whiting Street, Bury St.Edmunds were his parents, sisters Emily Eleanor (at home), Ada (servant) and Rosalie Lydia; brothers David (picture show attendant), Charles L (newsagent), Joseph Paul(carrier) and Alfred Thomas.

His brother Joseph Paul died in France in 1914 see here
His brother David died at home in 1918 see here

The family were later at 53 Guidhall Street, Bury St.Edmunds.

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds. "Soldiers Died" and pension card has him in the 3rd Battalion. Only CWC have him as 1st battalion.

A lengthy report appeared in the Bury Free Press on Saturday 15t August 1915 :- BURY SOLDIER KILLED AT FELIXSTOWE
The storm was very severe at Felixstowe about quarter-past four o'clock. Several soldiers when going to their tents noticed a comrade lying on the ground. The ambulance was sent for, and the injured man conveyed to the Cliff Hospital. Apprehesive of further disaster, the soldiers looked into a tent near by the spot where their comrade had laid, and saw another soldier lying on the ground; he had evidenty been struck by lightning while sheltering from the heavy rain fall.
The body was conveyed to the mortuary, and later the deceased was identified as Walter Claydon, "R" Company, 3rd Suffolk Regiment, a native of Bury St.Edmunds who was on military police duty.
An inquest was held on Wednesday at the Cliff Military Hospital, Felixstowe, by the Coroner (Mr.W.Brooke).
Deceased was identified by Corpl F.Brunning as Prvt.Walter Claydon (27) of the 3rd Suffolk Regiment, stationed at Felixstowe. His home address was 36 Westgate Street, Bury St.Edmunds. This witness also stated that deceased was on duty as Regimental Policeman, he had been in the Army about ten years. He found the deceased in the tent lying on the ground face downwards, with his foot twisted near the pole of the tent, where he had evidently taken shelter from the storm.
The only other witness called was Dr.D.Jefferson, of the R.A.M.C., acting as military doctor to the Regiment, who stated that he was called to the Military Hospital, where the deceased had been taken and he found he was dead, death evidently having been caused by lightning.
The Jury returned a verdict "That deceased had been killed by lightning".
On the suggestion of the Foreman (Mr. J.W.Butler) the Jury handed their fees to a relative of the deceased who was present at the inquest
Lieut.C.F.Keyon of the 3rd Suffolk Regiment was present at the inquest
The deceased was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Claydon of Bury St.Edmunds. It was only a few weeks ago that they received information of the death of their seventh son at the front , Prvt J.P.Claydon 2nd Battalion. Suffolk Regiment. Mr. and Mrs. Claydon had seven sons in the Army, and received the King's congratulatons on their sons' patriotism.
Pvt Walter Claydon joined the 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment about 11 years ago. He was soon sent out to Egytp, where he became a member of the Camel Corps. His Regiment was called home at the beginning of the war, when he became ill and was sent to the hospital, Felixstowe, where he had to go through two or three operations. Having become better, it was found that he was not fit for the front , and was therefore transferred to the 3rd Battalion Suffolk Regiment. Deceased acted as military policeman.
The funeral will take place at Bury St.Edmunds cemetery to-morrow (Saturday) afternoon, when full military honours will be accorded.

photo CWGC

Walter Claydon is buried with his brother David in Bury St.Edmunds cemetery K:68

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details