CLAYDON, Harry Charles Frederick

No.5182, Private, Harry Charles Frederick CLAYDON
Aged 26

8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 11th November 1915

Harry Claydon was born in Stetchworth in 1889 (Newmarket Q3-1889 3B:520), son of Ben and Elizabeth Grace Matilda CLAYDON (née BROWN).

1891 census...Aged 1, he was at High Street, Stetchworth with his father Ben CLAYDON [29] GER platelayer's labourer; his mother Eliza M [29], brother Birtie James [6] and sister Elizabeth M [4]. All were recorded as born in Cambridgeshire.

1901 census...Aged 11, he was at Cottage, Six Mile Bottom, with his widower father and brothers Bertie (Labourer) and Alfred [9]. All were now recorded as born in Stetchworth. Also there was housekeeper Alice Stiff [26] born Stanton and her son Arthur [2] born Little Wilbraham. His mother had died in 1895.

1911 census...Aged 21, a farm labourer, he was at Station Cottage, Six Mile Bottom with his widower father, brother Bertie (platelayer's labourer) sister Elizabeth and brother Alfred ( farm labourer).

In 1913 he married Violet Maud COCKERTON [30-1-1894] (Chesterton Q3-1913 3B:1102). She already had a daughter, Gladys Matilda Mary Claydon COCKERTON (4-12-1911-2004). They had a daughter Grace Maude [23-11-1913].

He enlisted in Newmarket.
A few kilometres south east of Albert, from the 8th Battalion war diary:
"It was reported at 5 a.m. that listening posts had been withdrawn from the TAMBOUR as the R.E. Officer in charge of the miners thought that there might be retaliation on the part of the Germans for the camouflet exploded by us the previous afternoon.
Nothing happened and the men were replaced at 6.30 a.m. Work was commenced on the new trench in the rear of 95 trench leading to the new dump.
There were four casualties, Pte. Coleman and Pte.Claydon being killed and Ptes. Austin and Cook wounded

The Pte Cook was from Higham.
A camouflet is a cavern created by an underground explosion which does not breach the surface. Usually created by miners digging under an enemy tunnel and then setting off a charge that collapses the enemy tunnel.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Harry Claydon is buried in Norfolk Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, France - grave 1:C:20
and is also commemorated also on the war memorial in Little Wilbraham

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