CLAMP, Laurence Pearson

204077, Corporal, Laurence Pearson CLAMP
Aged 27

7th Battalion, The Queen's Own(Royal West Kent Regiment)
formerly 1187, London Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 24th August 1918

Laurence Pearson CLAMP was born in Walsham-le-Willows on 3rd April 1891 (Stow Q2-1891 4A:820) son of William and Alice CLAMP(née HAYWARD).

1891 census...Aged 3 days, he was at The Grocers Shop, Church Street, Walsham-le-Willows with his father William CLAMP [27] born Westhorpe; his mother Alice [30], brothers William [12] and Ernest [10]. All except his father were born in Walsham-le-Willows.

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at High Street, Walsham-le-Willows with his parents; sister Mabel and brother Ernest (grocer/draper).

Bury Free Press 26th September 1905
"Laurence Pearson Clamp, son of Mr. William Clamp a Walsham shopkeeper, has successfully passed the South Kensington Board Examination in theoretical chemistry. He was a pupil of the East Anglian School."

1911 census...Aged 20, an assistant teacher, he was boarding at Oakwell, Hernhill, Faversham, Kent with Henry (retired policeman) and Caroline BEAL

He married Beatrice Alice PHILPOTT at Hernhill Parish Church 13th June 1914, having a son Lancelot Lewis born 6th May 1916. Her address later was 72 High Street, Ramsgate.

His elder brother, William Valentine Hayward CLAMP, served in the Royal Field Artillery and survived the war and brother Ernest was killed serving in Belgium in the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1918 see here

He enlisted in New Cross, Kent when resident in Blackheath SE. What seems strange, unless it is a typo, the enlistment given by Du Ruvigny is 1913, so what was Laurence doing until 1918. It does seem more likely that he was mobilised in early 1918 but as his service records have not been found, we may never know. There was somewhere an obituary, but that particular website has closed.
His entry in Du Ruvigny's Roll of Honour reads:
CLAMP, LAURENCE PEARSON , Corpl.,No.204077, 7th (Service) Battn. The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regt), yst.s.of William Clamp, of Walsham-le-Willows, co.Suffolk, by his wife. Alice, dau of William (and Mary) Hayward: b. Walsham-le-Willows aforesaid, 3 April 1891; educ. East Anglian School, Bury St. Edmunds and Goldsmiths' College, London; was a school master; enlisted in 1913; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from 9 Aug. 1918, and was killed in action at Becordel, Becourt on 23rd of the same month. Buried in the Becourt Military Cemetery, east of Albert. He m. at Hernhill Parish Church, Faversham, co.Kent 13 June, 1914, Beatrice Alice (School House, Great Gidding, Peterborough), dau of Thomas Philpott and had a son, Lancelot Lewis, b.6 May 1916."

The battle of Amiens which started on 8th August was the turning point at the end of the war, leading to the 100 days advance. The war diary has them near WARLOY - Battalion attacked with tanks and barrage. Barrage opened 4:45 am. Objectives gained and consolidated. Casualties - included in following day's total (which was 8 Officers and 142 OR).

CWGC figures show 33 killed on 23rd.

The Clamp brothers plaque in Walsham-le-Willows Church

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Laurence Clamp is buried in Becourt Military Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, grave 2:B:8
and commemorated with his brother Ernest on a plaque in Walsham-le-Willows Church and on the war memorial there,
also on the war memorial at Herne Hill, Kent.

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