ROUSE, Clement

No.2852, Private, Clement ROUSE
Aged 16

2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Sunday, 16th May 1915

Clement Rouse was born in Soham (Newmarket Q4-1898 3B:506), son of Henry and Rachel ROUSE (née CLEMENTS).

1901 census...Aged 2, he was at Fountain Lane, Soham with his father Henry ROUSE [33] a blacksmith; his mother Rachel [32]; brothers William [8], Bertram [6], Alec [4] and Edward [2 months]. All were born in Soham.

1911 census...Aged 12, he was at High Street, Soham with his parents, brothers William (blacksmith), Alec (errand boy for father), Edward and Ernest [7] and Reginald, also sister Eva [2] and widowed grandmother Sarah CLEMENT [79]. Brother Bertram was a servant, domestic waiter, with John and Sarah RIDDOCK at 71 Royal Parade, Eastbourne All the new children were Soham born.

His brother Bertram, serving in the Royal Sussex Regiment, was killed in France in 1916.
see here

He enlisted in Newmarket. He was the youngest to die from all 40 memorials in the Newmarket area. How he managed to fool the authorities would be a fascinating story. He was not even of the age to be abroad in the Army when he was wounded. Sadly his Army records have not been found, those of his brothers Bertram (Royal Sussex) and William Henry (Royal Field Artillery) are available. Brother Alex was in the Suffolk Regiment and like William, survived the war.
It is thanks to the Newmarket Journal that the facts of his death are learnt
He died in Boscombe from septicemia and was brought home to Soham for burial.

The Newmarket Journal of 22nd May 1915 reported that:-
Military Funeral at Soham - A GALLANT LAD'S SAD DEATH.

"Though he went through some of the hottest engagements on the Western Front, and saw another Soham lad killed by his side, it was through an unfortunate accident that Private Clement Rouse was fatally injured. In a letter to his mother, part of which we published last week, he said he was shot accidentally , just above the left knee, by one of his comrades who was cleaning his rifle; the corporal being hit by the same bullet. Private Rouse was sent over to the Royal Victoria and West Hants Hospital at Boscombe, Devon (sic), where his leg was amputated last week, and he died on Sunday last.
The deceased was the 4th son of Mr. Henry Rouse, blacksmith and parish Constable, of High Street, Soham, and must, in his eagerness to fight for his country, have stated his age at enlistment at more than it was for he was only 16 years old. Mr.Henry Rouse has still three sons serving in the Army.
The body of the gallant lad was conveyed to his native town, and was, on Wednesday last, interred in Soham Cemetery, with full military honour. This was the first military funeral at Soham for 35 years, and a great crowd assembled to do honour to one who, short though his life was, had served his country well. A firing party of thirteen men of the 2/5 Bedford Regiment from Newmarket, with arms reversed, and the band of the battalion, marched at the head of the cortege.......
......Over the coffin the Union Jack was spread, and upon the breastplate lay the deceased's cap and belt. The hearse was filled with lovely floral tributes......

Clement Rouse is buried in Soham Cemetery, grave K:205

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