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  • Buried St Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Wilsford Lincolnshire
John Edward was the only surviving son of John Attewell and Annie Clayton (née Garton). His father John Attewell was born in 1867 in Wilsford, Lincolnshire, the son of George and Abigail Clayton. His mother Annie Garton was born in 1864 in Helpringham, Lincolnshire. They were married at Spittlegate St John, Grantham, in June 1885 and had 12 children, five of whom died in infancy or childhood. Their seven surviving children were: Gwendoline Emily b. Grantham 1885 and John Edward b. 1887 bap. Wilsford St Mary 7 August 1887, Lilian Mabel b. 1889 bap. 1889, Grace Mary b. 1890 bap. 1891, Annie b. 1892 bap. 1893, Helen (reg. Ellen) b. 1895 bap. 1895 and Emma b. 1900 who were all born in Wilsford. Two of the five children who died young were Samuel b. Wilsford 1894 bap. 17 April 1894 buried Wilsford St Mary churchyard 21 April 1894 and Samuel Garton b. 1901 d. 1902. John, a farm servant, Annie and their four children, Gwendoline, John, Lilian and Grace were living at Wilsford Town End in 1891. By 1901 John was a farm foreman and living in Walcot, Sleaford, with his wife and their seven surviving children. Also in the household were three farm servants (occupation 'teamsters'). Ten years later in 1911 John, now employed as an 'engine driver' (threshing machine), and Annie were living in Cropwell Butler, Nottinghamshire. Only the youngest child, Emma (11), was still living with her parents. John Edward was employed as a horse wagoner and living with the farm foreman, Jesse Moncaster, and his family at Mill Farm, Bingham, Nottinghamshire. Four of John's sisters, Lilian, Grace, Helen and Annie, were in domestic service in private households in Nottingham while the eldest, Gwendoline, had married Albert Edward Smith in 1908 and was living with her husband and their two children in Nottingham. The CWGC record gave Annie's address as The Manor, Barnstone, Nottingham. However, in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, the widowed Annie was living on Hoe Lane, Cropwell Butler. She died in 1940. Her husband John had probably died in July 1939.
In 1911 he was a horse wagoner.
08 Jan 1918
516614 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Nottingham
Lance Sergeant
  • MM MM Military Medal
52nd Coy Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
52nd Coy Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Formerly 20867 Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment Lance Sergeant John Edward Clayton enlisted in Nottingham on 16th December 1914 and initially served with service number 20867 in the Sherwood Foresters Regiment but later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and underwent training at Belton Park near Grantham. He was awarded the Military Medal in June 1917 'for bringing in a Lewis Gun and holding up the enemy, and afterwards bringing up two wounded officers under fire.' He was badly wounded by a bullet to the head and was evacuated to the base hospital but sadly succumbed to his wounds on 8th January 1918. He was buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen, France (grave ref. P V J 5B). He was awarded the Military Medal in 1917 and qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. 52nd Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry): the company joined the 17th (Northern Division) in France in February 1916. and saw action in the Battles of the Somme 1916, and the First and Second Battles of Passchedaele in late summer 1917. In February 1918, the month following John’s death, the 52nd Company and other companies of the Division formed the 17th Machine Gun Battalion. CWGC - History of St Sever Cemetery Extension (extract): 'During the First World War, Commonwealth camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen. A base supply depot and the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters were also established in the city. Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war. They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross and one labour hospital, and No. 2 Convalescent Depot. A number of the dead from these hospitals were buried in other cemeteries, but the great majority were taken to the city cemetery of St. Sever. In September 1916, it was found necessary to begin an extension, where the last burial took place in April 1920.' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC: 'Son of Mrs. A. M. Clayton, of The Manor, Barnstone, Nottingham.' John's mother wrote to his Company officer asking for information about her son's death and received the following reply: 'Dear Mrs Clayton, - I am in receipt of your letter regarding the sad business of your son’s death from wounds. I would have written you before but I could get no definite news after the poor fellow had left me in the trenches. As his Officer I can sympathise with you in your loss, for while you have lost your son, I have lost one of the best fellows, one who was admired and respected by all for his sterling qualities, under the most adverse conditions. Your letter was the first intimation we received of his death, and it has cast a gloom over the whole company. I was with him when he received his wound, we were walking along together, when were both caught in a burst of Machine Gun bullets, and your son was hit in the head, and how I escaped being hit myself I cannot make out as one bullet grazed my nose. I will not give you any particulars now, as I am coming home on leave on Jan 23rd, when I will come down and see you, and give you an account of what happened. Trusting the knowledge that your splendid son has done his duty “even threefold” will help you in your hour of trial. I remain, Yours in deep sympathy, E.G. Mungeam, Second-Lieut. “. CWGC 1747032: Second Lieutenant Ernest George Mungeam, 17th Bn Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), was killed in action on 28 August 1918 (Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France). John’s Military Medal was presented to his mother on Saturday, 27th July 1918 by General Maxwell at a baseball match held at Trent Bridge. Above courtesy of the 'Barnston and Langar in World War 1' facebook pages Nottingham Journal, 1 July 1918: ‘Cropwell Butler Hero. A pathetic little ceremony took place at the baseball match at Trent Bridge on Saturday, where General Maxwell handed to Mrs Clayton of Cropwell Butler, the Military Medal awarded to her son, Sergt. JE Clayton, of the Machine Gun Corps, for ‘bringing in a Lewis gun and holding up the enemy and afterwards bringing up two wounded men under fire.’ Sergt. Clayton was unfortunately wounded on 4 January of this year and died four days later. In making the presentation, General Maxwell expressed his regret that Mrs Clayton had lost so gallant a son, and sympathy with her was personally voiced by the Duchess of Portland, Lady Maxwell and Mrs Charles Birkin.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Note: probably General Sir John Grenfell Maxwell (1859-1929). In 1916 he was assigned General Officer Commanding, Northern Command (retired 1922).
Remembered on


  • Buried St Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    John Edward Clayton - Buried St Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen, France. (www.cwgc.org)