Private 266162 John Clayton

Clayton John 96 439x600 Clayton John 96 346x600
Grave photograph courtesy of www.livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk

Died Home on Monday, 7th May 1917, age 39 or 40.
Buried in Grave EB. 1833. 1. at Bilston Cemetery, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

13th Bn., Lincolnshire Regiment. 215th Brigade of 72nd Division.
Formerly 3698 South Staffordshire Regiment.

Husband of Mrs Florence Clayton, 69 Temple Street, Bilston, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Bilston, Resident: Bilston.

First landed France & Flanders, 28th June 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/394818/

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Clayton registered June quarter 1877 in Dudley.

1891 Census
8 Parkes Lane, Coseley, Staffs. (Tipton Border)
John Clayton (36, Puddler, born West Bromwich), his wife Rebecca (37, born Wolverhampton), and their 5 children: John (14, born Wednesbury), Alice (12, Scholar, born Sedgley), Thomas (8, Scholar, born Sedgley), Henry (3, born Sedgley), and Emily (2, born Sedgley).

1901 Census
17 St Luke's Place, Bilston, Staffs.
John Clayton (23, Iron Worker - Bar Weigher, born Ocker Hill), his wife Florence (21, born Bilston), and their child: Florence (1, born Bilston).

1911 Census
4 House 11 Court, Temple Street, Bilston, Staffs.
John Clayton (31, Labourer, born Wednesbury), his wife Florence (29, born Bilston), and their 3 surviving children of 6: Florence (11, School, born Bilston), John (9, School, born Bilston), and Harry (3, born Bilston).
A further child, Oliver, was born on 25th November 1913.

Personal Data

After John's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances of £5/5/7d (5 pounds, 5 shillings and 7 pence) was paid to his widow, Florence, in October 1917. His War Gratuity of £11/10/0d (11 pounds and 10 shillings) was also paid to his widow in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity and his date of death suggest that John enlisted in November 1914.

Florence was awarded a Widow's Pension of £1/2/11d (1 pound, 2 shillings and 11 pence) per week for herself and her 2 children under the age of 16, this was effective from 5th November 1917. A grant of £3/0/0d had been paid on 25th June 1917.

Action resulting in his death

John Clayton died in England on 7th May 1917, his Medal Index Card says Died of Wounds. The "Soldier's Effects" documents show that John took his own life when he was in England, it records "Gunshot wounds - self-inflicted". This is confirmed by his Pension Card which records "wounds self inflicted, insane from active service". At this time John was no longer serving with the South Staffordshire Regiment, but with the 13th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.

The 13th Lincolns was a Territorial Battalion which never served abroad. It had been formed in Bedford in January 1917 moving to Foxhall Heath Camp, 4 miles from Ipswich, in May 1917 and was disbanded on 31st October 1917. It is likely that John had been wounded at some stage while serving with the South Staffs, had been evacuated back to England, and was subsequently with the Lincolns as part of his recovery, Sadly, John felt that he could not continue and shot himself whilst at Foxhall Heath Camp. He is buried in Bilston Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 27th November 1915
Partiotic Princes End Family.
Mrs Clayton, Lorne Street, Princes End, has four sons and one son-in-law in the Army.
Oliver (22 years old) is serving in France in the R.F.A.; John, South Staffords, is also in France; Albert (24) enlisted in the R.F.A.; Thomas is in France with the South Staffords.
Jeff Sherwood (son-in-law) is also serving in France. He is in the R.A.M.C.