CLAMP, Ernest Edward

111159, Gunner, Ernest Edward CLAMP
Aged 38

252nd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Killed in Action on Monday, 29th April 1918

Ernest Edward CLAMP was born in Walsham-le-Willows in 1880 (Stow Q4-1880 4A:594) son of William and Alice CLAMP(née HAYWARD).

1881 census...Aged 5 months, he was at Church Street, Walsham-le-Willows with his father William CLAMP [27] born Westhorpe; his mother Alice [30] ; sister Mabel [3] and brother William [2]. All except his father were born in Walsham-le-Willows.

1891 census...Aged 10, he was at The Grocers Shop, Church Street, Walsham-le-Willows with his parents, brothers Willie and infant brother [3 days] (Laurence) and aunt HAYWARD [44] born Ashfield.

1901 census...Aged 20, a grocer/draper, he was at High Street, Walsham-le-Willows with his parents; sister Mabel and brother Lorrie (Laurence Pearson CLAMP) [9] born Walsham-le-Willows.

1911 census...Aged 30, married,. a grocer's assistant he was at High Street, Walsham-le-Willows with his wife Maude [24] and daughter Irene (4 months), both born in Walsham-le-Willows He had married Maud May CHAMBERS at the Independent Meeting house, Wattisford on 28th June 1909, who later married Reginald A.BAILEY and was at Riverside House, Walsham le Willows.
Ernest and Maude had two children, Irene Mary [19th November 1910] and Edwin Ernest [2nd July 1917] both born in Walsham-le-Willows.

His elder brother William Valentine Hayward CLAMP served in the Royal Field Artillery and survived the war. His younger brother Laurence was killed serving in France in the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment in 1918 see here

He enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds on 18th July 1916, a married grocer, giving his age as 35 years 10 months, weighing 128 lbs (58.2 kg), height 5 feet 8.25 inches (173.4 cm), chest 33" to 36" (83.8 to 91.4 cm), Church of England.
He was mobilised on 31st July at Depot, Dover. Posted to Reinforcement Base, Bexhill on 2nd May and sent to the British Expeditionary Force on 24th June 1917. Arriving at his unit on 30th June. On 19th August 1917 he was in hospital. The diagnosis was PUO (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin - Army speak for 'do not know what it is'). This was serious enough for him to be evacuated to UK on HS "Warilda" on 25th August 1917. 15th September found him at V.A. Hospital, Salcombe Devon, returning to the BEF on 2nd January 1918.
Killed in Action on 29th April, he was originally buried as shown below and later exhumed and re-interred in Ypres in 1919.
His wife received his personal belongings, just a letter and a photo, at Church View, Walsham-le-Willows in August 1919 and eventually a pension of 25 shillings 5 pence per week (£1.27) for herself and two children. When she completed the Army's "Living Relatives" form in 1919, his parents, his children, brother William and sister Mabel were entered and her address was given as Riverside House, Walsham-le-Willows.

Despite the Garrison Artillery tending to be some distance from the front lines the nature of their large guns and subsequent immobility meant they were stable targets once their position was found. Where exactly they were at the time is unknown but presumably not far from his first grave.

His grave was found, marked with a cross, and he was re-interred in White House on 1st August 1919.

15 inch howitzer such as Ernest may have been operating

Presumably the New Cemetery had been closed by 1919 hence Ernest's re-interment in White House

The Clamp brothers plaque in Walsham-le-Willows Church

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Ernest Clamp is buried in White House Cemetery, St.Jean-les-Ypres, grave 4:A:9
and commemorated with his brother Laurence on a plaque in Walsham-le-Willows Church and on the war memorial there

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