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Person Details
Sneinton Nottingham
William was an illegitimate child. He had one sibling, Annie (later Ball). William declared that his father was dead when he enlisted in the Army in 1904 and his sister was named as his next of kin; her address was given as 7 Weston Street, Nottingham. His mother later married and in 1901 William, age 17, was living in his stepfather's household at 22 Brook Street, Nottingham. His stepfather, Rowland Copley (41) and his mother, Mary Ann Copley (39) had three children, George H (5), Robert (3) and Alice M (9 months). William joined the Army in 1904 and transferred to the Army Reserve in 1907. In 1911 William (27), who was single, was at 2 Young's Terrace, Nottingham, and living with Amelia Clamp Bennett (27), who was married and described as a housekeeper. However, they were living as man and wife and had one child, Robert Clamp Bennett (b. 12 April 1911); they were later to have a daughter, Mary Clamp Bennett (b. 16 February 1913). From information included on the 1911 Census it would seem that Amelia had had other children. Amelia was to later give her address as 2 Flewitt Place, Flewitt Street, Nottingham, although she later lived on Prince Regent Street off Carlton Road and by 1923 was living in Chesterfield. Their irregular status was to cause difficulties for Amelia after William's death (see 'extra information'). In 1919 Amelia completed a form for the Army with the names William's surviving relatives. She described herself as 'dependent wife' and included their two children, Robert Bennett Clamp and Mary Bennett Clamp, on the form. They were all living at 2 Flewitt Place, Flewitt Street, Nottingham. She also named William's married sister, Annie Ball (31) of 5 Kent Street off Blue Bell Hill, and Annie's three children Annie Louisa (11), Lillie (9) and Frank William (7). There was also an aunt, Louise Stokes (54), of 27 Abbott Street, Blue Bell Hill.
In 1901 he was a lace dresser. He joined the Army in 1904 and transferred to the Army Reserve in 1907. In 1911 he was a bleacher's labourer.
20 Oct 1914
874491 - CWGC Website
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
He attested on a 12 year engagement (3 years with the Colours, 9 years in the Army Reserve) on 8 April 1904 and served with the Notts and Derby Regiment until 1907 when he transferred to the Army Reserve. He was mobilized in Derby on 5 August 1914. He was killed in action and the Army Council later decided that for official purposes William was to be regarded for official purposes as 'having died on or since 20th October 1914'. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial. He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Amelia applied for William's medals in a letter dated c. September 1923. 'Dear Sir, I should be very pleased if you could forward me the medals of 1914 as I have never received them happen through my change of address which was at first Prince Regent Street off Carlton Road, Nottingham. Mrs Amelia Clamp, dependent of WH Bennett Notts Derby Reg No 9282 Private, killed 20th Oct 1914. Please oblige, yours truly, A Clamp, 13 St Augustine’s Avenue, Chesterfield.' Amelia received the following reply dated 17 October 1923: 'Madam, With reference to your application for medals of the late No 9282 Pte WH Bennett, The Sherwood Foresters, I am directed by the Secretary, War Office, to inform you that as the deceased soldier was of illegitimate birth, and died intestate and a bachelor, no person has any legal claim to his medals, yours faithfully (for OIC Infantry Records, Litchfield).'
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