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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery  Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Claude was the youngest son of James Chettle and his wife Elizabeth nee Streets. James was born in Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, in 1857 (J/F/M Basford) and Elizabeth was born in Harby, Lincolnshire, in about 1857. They were married in 1879 (O/N/D Leicester) and had four sons, Harry b. Nottingham 1880 (O/N/D Nottingham). Ernest b. Nottingham 22 May 1884 (J/A/S Nottingham), Leonard b. Lenton, Nottingham 1887 (A/M/J Nottingham) and Claude b. Leicester 1891 (A/M/J Leicester). In 1881 James (24) a lace maker, and Elizabeth (24) were living at 43 Hungerhill Road, Nottingham, with their six-month old son, Harry. By 1891 they had moved to 73 Carlisle Street, Leicester, where James was a dyer labourer and Elizabeth a boot fitter. They now had three sons, Harry (10), Ernest (6) and Leonard (4). They were still living at the same address ten years later in 1901. James (43) was now working as a yarn dyer. Only three of their four sons were still living at home; Ernest (16) a tailor presser, Leonard (14) who was in the shoe trade, and Claude (9). Royal Marine records suggest that the eldest boy, Harry, had joined the Royal Marines Light Infantry (Plymouth Division) on 19 July 1898 (record: Harry Chettle b. 20 September 1880). Also in the household was a one-year old child, William Arthur Wallace (b. 1899 J/A/S Leicester), who was described as a 'nurse child' suggesting that James and Elizabeth had long-term care of the boy. (By 1911 William Wallace, now eleven years old, was living in Narborough, Leicestershire, with his grandparents Samuel and Annie Maria Moore.) James Chettle died at the age of 45 later the same year (1901, J/A/S Leicester). Elizabeth came back to Nottingham at some point after the death of her husband as in 1911 she was living on Main Street, Kimberley, with her eldest son, Harry (30), a labourer with a railway company. She was still working as a boot fitter. Also in the household were three male lodgers. Her third son Leonard was serving with the Lancashire Fusiliers (641 Private) in Multan, Punjab, India, in 1911, while her youngest son, Claude was serving with the 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters at Crownhill Fort, Crownhill, RSO, Devon. Ernest had married Emma Ainley (b. Kimberley, 12 January 1882) in 1907 (O/N/D Basford) and in 1911 they were living at 5 Leonard Street, Bagnall, Nottingham. Ernest (26) was a coal miner loader. He and Emma had two children, Leonard b. Kimberley 28 January 1909 (J/F/M Nottingham) and Olive b. Bagnall 8 June 1910 (J/A/S Nottingham. They were to have at least two more children, George William b. 1912 (O/N/D Nottingham, Ainley) and Doris M. b.1916 (Nottingham, Ainley). Leonard married Sarah Webster in 1913 (O/N/D Doncaster) and they had a son, Leonard, the following year (1914 O/N/D Doncaster, Webster). There is a record of a Leonard Chettle aged 24 (b. 23 October 1914) on the staff of the LNER railway company based at Ilkeston Station in October 1939. He died in 1981 (Dec Basford, b. 23 October 1914) aged 67. Claude's brothers Harry and Leonard also died in the war. Harry served with the 17th Sherwood Foresters and was killed in action in France on 1 July 1916 (Le Touret Military Cemetery). Leonard was probably still serving with the Lancashire Fusiliers (238 Private) when war broke out and was killed on 14 September 1914 (La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial). The CWGC record for Claude gives their mother's address as 47 Nottingham Road, Kimberley. Elizabeth Chettle died in 1924 (June Basford) aged 67. Leonard's only surviving brother, Ernest, was living with his wife Emma, at 2 Dixon Street, Radord, Nottingham, at the time of the 1939 national register. He was employed as a colliery blacksmith. Ernest died on 4 July 1957 at the age of 73; he and Emma were still living at 2 Dixon Street. His widow died in 1964 (Mar Nottingham) aged 81. Of Ernest’s children: Leonard married Barbara E Kirkham in 1931. In 1939 Leonard, a wagon repairer (railway) and Barbara were living in Nottingham with their sons Ralph (b. 3 January 1933) and Frank George (b. 25 June 1939). Leonard died in 1989 (Nov Nottingham) aged 75. Olive married Harold Townsend in 1929 (A/M/J Nottingham). In 1939 she and Harold (b. 8 June 1907), a Post Office engineer, were living in Nottingham. Olive died in 1985 (Jun Nottingham) aged 75. George William married Martha A Barsby (b. 18 June 1907) in 1935 (J/A/S Nottingham) and in 1939 George, a motor driver, and Martha, a draper manageress, were living in Nottingham. George died in 1974 (Nottingham) aged 62. Doris has not been positively identified in records after 1916.
He was serving in the Sherwood Foresters in 1911 and continued to serve in the regiment until his death in 1915
12 Aug 1915
434613 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Nottingham, residence Kimberley
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Claude served in France from 8 September 1914. He died at the 10th Casualty Clearing Station on 12 August 1915 from wounds received on 9 August. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (grave ref. 3.D.20A).
Personal inscription on CWGC headstone: ‘Surely none can mourn like Thee, Weeping son of Bethany’ (This quotation may have been adapted from lines from a hymn by John Ross MacDuff DD, 'Surely none can feel like Thee, Weeping one of Bethany’.) Nottingham Evening Post,'In Memoriam', 12 August 1916: 'Chettle. In loving memory of my dear sons, Corpl. Claude Chettle, wounded at Hooge, August 9th, died August 12th, 1915; also of Private Leonard Chettle, killed in the battle of the Aisne, September 14th, 1914. My boys have gone, and I am left to think of them in sorrow, but I must hope to meet again on that eternal morrow. – From their loving mother, brother Ernest, and friend Jim.' (www. britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 'In Memoriam', 14 September 1917: ‘Chettle. In memory of my dear sons and brothers killed in action. Private L Chettle September 14th 1914; Corporal C Chettle August 12th 1915; Private H Chettle July 1st 1916. Bitterly oh bitterly we miss them: aching hearts alone can tell: the circle of our home is broken, for why none but God can tell. – From mother and brother Ernest.’ Registers of Soldiers' Effects: His mother Elizabeth was his sole legatee. Probate: Chettle Ernest of 2 Dixon-street Radford Nottingham died 4 July 1957 Administration Nottingham 1 August to Emma Chettle widow. Effects £834 15s. 10d.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery  Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Claude Chettle - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle