CLAYDON, George William

Aged 69
Civilian Casualty of War
Died on Tuesday, 29th October 1940

George Claydon was born in Saxon Street (Newmarket Q4-1871 3B:515), baptised in Woodditton on 9th November 1871, son of Stephen Isaacson and Emma CLAYDON (née TWEED). His mother died soon after his birth, in 1871.

1881 census...Aged 9, he was at Saxon Street with his widower father Stephen CLAYDON [39] an agricultural labourer; his brother Albert [14] and sister Mary [13]. All were born in Saxon Street.

1891 census...Aged 18, an agricultural labourer, he was in Saxon Street with his father (now a gamekeeper), brother Albert (bricklayer's labourer) and sister Mary.

1901 census...He appears to be George CLAYDON, aged 26, an agricultural labourer boarding in Ditton Road with Arthur WEBB ( a shepherd) and his family. This census form simply gives Cambridgeshire as the place of birth for all of them.

1911 census...Aged 39, single, a shepherd, he was boarding with widower Arthur Norman, a farm labourer, with five of his children, at 13 Woodditton Road, Newmarket.

In the 1939 register he was still lodging at 13 Woodditton Road,Newmarket with Ethel May NORMAN [17-3-1894] single; Mabel NORMAN [29-1-1916] single (possibly daughter of Ethel) and Israel WEBBER [10-12-1882] single, stud hand (believed to be Ethel's step brother).

At dusk on Tuesday, 29th October 1940 the Luftwaffe raided Newmarket, apparently 3 Dorniers. Some machine gunning took place on the airfield at RAF Newmarket Heath and another plane appears to have strafed the railway line, causing some damage to paddocks at Terrace House Stud and Stretton Avenue and some cottages near the railway bridge on Wooddittom Road and killing one civilian. The cottages were the Bridge Cottages on Woodditton Road, one being No.13. Although not actually named in any reports seen, it must be George William CLAYDON who, according to Civil Defence records, became the first local civilian killed by enemy action.

RAF Records:- "Newmarket: HE bombs were dropped and a machine-gunning attack took place at 1800 hours on the Aerodrome and also the town. The only casualties and damage so far reported appears to have taken place in the town".
This raid was one of the last gasp attempts by the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, which officially ended on 31st October

99 Squadron RAF were at RAF Newmarket at the time and their Wellington bombers were on a raid to Berlin at that day, a raid that ended the life of Pilot Officer Eric Hallows , who was living at "Russley", Woodditton Road at the time.

George Claydon is buried in Woodditton (St Mary's) Churchyard.

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