Stoker 1st Class SS/103962 George Ernest Clemson

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 22nd September 1914, age 25.
Commemorated on Panel 4 of Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, United Kingdom.

Royal Navy, H.M.S. "Cressy." (RFR/CH/B/8133).

Son of Ellen M. Peach (formerly Clemson), of Lyneham, Kingham, Oxon, and the late Thomas Clemson.
Born: Idbury, Oxfordshire, Enlisted: Unknown, Resident: Tipton.

First served in 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Navy Papers transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because his death was reported in the Tipton Herald.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3048715/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Clemson registered September quarter 1888 in Chipping Norton.

1891 Census
Shorthampton Village, Oxfordshire.
Thomas T. Clemson (29, Agricultural Labourer, born Marcham, Bucks), his wife Ellen M. (29, born Marcham, Bucks), and their 4 children: William (7, born Bould, Oxon), Henry (5, born Bould, Oxon), Frank (4, born Idbury), and George (2, born Idbury).

1901 Census
Shorthampton, Oxfordshire. Next to All Saints Church. (Shorthampton is bounded to the north by the sweep of the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway.)
Thomas T. Clemson (39, Carter on Farm, born Marcham, Bucks), his wife Ellen M. (39, born Marcham, Bucks), and their 6 children: Henry R. (15, Plough Boy, born Bould, Oxon), Frank T. (13, Plough Boy, born Idbury), George E. (12, House Boy / Domestic, born Idbury), Lucy E. (9, born Shorthampton), Albert E. (5, born Shorthampton), and Ernest A. (2, born Shorthampton).

1911 Census
Soldier's Home, 6 Clemson Street, London.
George Clemson, Boarder, age 22, single, a Stoker with the Royal Navy, born Idbury, Oxon.

Personal Data

The Royal Navy War Graves Roll gives George a Royal Fleet Reserve number of Chatham B.8133. The 'B' indicates that George Clemson had served a previous term with the Navy, most likely a Short Service engagement of 5 or 7 years.

He would have been recalled from the Reserve on 2 August 1914 and posted to help man this reserve ship.

As an employee of the London & North West Railways, George's name is included on their Roll of Honour commemorating their 3,726 employees who lost their lives in the Great War.

Action resulting in his death

On 22nd September 1914, the elderly armoured cruisers HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue were patrolling 20 miles off the Dutch coast with no easily discernible purpose. Between 6am and 8am, they were torpedoed and sunk in turn by U Boat U-9 with the loss of 1,459 lives. Commander Weddigern of the U Boat U-9 was awarded the coveted Pour le Merite.

George Clemson was lost at sea on H.M.S. Cressey, and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Another Tipton man,Thomas Fereday, was lost on H.M.S. Hogue.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 26th September 1914
The Naval Disaster.
Local Men on Sunken Cruisers.
George Clemson on HMS Hogue - transcription required...

Tipton Herald 3rd October 1914
Information has reached Dudley Port that among those to go down with the Cressy was Porter Clemson, who had been employed at the Dudley Port station (London & North West Railway Co.) for some time. At the outbreak of war he was called up, and took part in the engagements off Heligoland. He was slightly wounded and conveyed to port, but after a few days leave he was drafted to H.M.S. Cressy. He was enabled to visit his sweetheart at Dudley Port before embarking.
The brave seaman belonged to Oxford. During the time he had been at Dudley Port, he was respected by all for his courtesy and general conduct.