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  • Family grave and headstone (Towers), Nottingham General Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (January 2018).
Person Details
Nottingham
John Thomas Clay was the son of John Thomas and Elizabeth (nee Towers), who were married in 1891 (marriage registered A/M/J Nottingham). Elizabeth died on 10 November 1892 aged 26 (1892 O/N/D Nottingham). This was the same quarter in which the birth of her only child, John Thomas, was registered so she may well have died in childbirth. In both the 1901 and 1911 censuses John Thomas junior could be found living with his maternal grandmother, Mary Towers, at 24 Prince Street, Radford. In 1901 the widowed Mary (65) was working as a laundress and along with her grandson there were two boarders in the household. By 1911 she was living on the old age pension and only John Thomas (18) was still in the household. Mary was described on the 1911 Census as 'deaf', suggesting that this was a serious impairment. Mary died at the age of 81 on 9 July 1917. Nothing has yet come to light about John Thomas' father; the CWGC describes him as ‘the late Thomas Clay.’
In 1911 he was a grocer's assistant.
14 Apr 1917
24
1606944 - CWGC Website
36632
Private
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Thomas was called up for service and enlisted in Derby. Following training he was drafted to France. He was killed in action in the Ypres Salient in early 1917. He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Inscription on family gravestone (Towers), Nottingham General Cemetery: ‘In loving memory of John Henry Towers, who died Decr 13th 1897, in his 34th year. Also Elizabeth Clay, his beloved sister who died Novr. 10th 1892, aged 26 years. And Mary Towers, mother of the above who died July 9th 1917, aged 81 years. Also of her grandson Pte John Thos. Clay, 11th Batt. SF, who was killed in France April 14th 1917, aged 24 years. Also Mary, widow of John Henry Towers, who died Jany 12th 1929 aged 68 years. Thy will O Lord we cannot see, but all is well that’s done by thee.’ Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 15 April 1918: ‘Clay. In loving memory of Pte JT Clay, Sherwood Foresters, killed in action April 14th, 1917, aged 25. Still silently mourned and sadly missed by aunt Pollie and cousins.’ [Pollie, possibly Mary Towers, widow of John Henry Towers, Elizabeth Clay's brother]
Remembered on

Photos

  • Family grave and headstone (Towers), Nottingham General Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (January 2018).
    John Thomas Clay - Family grave and headstone (Towers), Nottingham General Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (January 2018).