Private 6324 Joseph Cleton

Killed in Action on Sunday, 25th April 1915, age 33.
Commemorated on Panel 8 of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

1st Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 10th Brigade of 4th Division.

Husband of Amy Rosina Cleton, of 3, Back, 66, Sherborne St., Ladywood, Birmingham.
Born: Dudley Port, Enlisted: Warwick, Resident: Birmingham.

First landed France & Flanders, 30th November 1914.
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/1607020/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Joseph Cleton registered March quarter 1881 in Dudley.

1911 Census
6 Back of 256 Icknield Port Road, Birmingham.
Joseph Cleton (29, Tube Roller, born Dudley Port), and his wife Amy R. (28, Varnisher, born Ladywood).

Personal Data

At the time of Joseph's birth in 1881, the Cleton family (parents John and Amelia) were living at 53 Cleton Street, Dudley Port. By 1901 the family had moved to Shepcote Lane, Birmingham.

Joseph Cleton was probably a Reservist as he entered France on 30th November 1914, whereas the 1st Royal Warwicks had arrived on 23rd August 1914. He would have been part of a draft to replace men killed during 1st Ypres, and would have joined the Battalion in trenches near Ploegsteert where they spent a wet and unpleasant winter of 1914 / 1915.

It is probable that Joseph had a brother John also serving with the Royal Warwicks as 6320 is John Cleton (WO Class II) - John joined Oct 1898 stated age 18 and stayed for a full 21 years to 1919.

Action resulting in his death

On 22nd April 1915, the Germans launched a gas attack to the north of Ypres around St Juliaan to commence the 2nd Battle of Ypres. The 1st Warwicks were marched to Ypres just at that time, and in the early morning of 25th April launched a counter-attack to retake St Juliaan and Kitchener Wood.

The 1st Warwicks advanced with the rest of 10th Brigade and attempted to support a Canadian unit which had been over-powered by gas. Advancing to within 50 yards of the enemy, the 1st Battalion was unable to advance further due to enemy machine gun fire. This lasted for two hours and resulted in 7 Officers and 145 Other Ranks were killed. This occurred just to the north of Wieltje where the survivors were to remain in an exposed position for 5 days until relieved.

It was on this day that Joseph Cleton was killed. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate, in Ypres.

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