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Person Details
Henry Charles Clay was born in 1872 the son of William and Hannah Clay (née Chipp) of Aberdeen Street, Sneinton. His parents were married on 23rd November 1861 at St John the Baptist Church, Nottingham and went on to have seven further children. Henry married Kate Kirby in 1898 in the Gainsborough Registration District. They lived at 24 Brewitt’s Yard, Albion Street, Nottingham and had the following children, Minnie b.1899 Nottingham, Walter b.1900 Nottingham, George b. 1904 Sheffield, Charles Henry b.1908 Sheffield, Frank b.1910 Sheffield and Ernest b.1914 Sheffield. In 1911 they lived at 28 Driffield Street, Sheffield.
He was a career soldier before joining the police service.
17 Jun 1916
118102 - CWGC Website
12th Bn York and Lancaster Regiment
Henry Charles Clay enlisted at Sheffield and was killed by shellfire. He had previously seen service with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. In 1891 he was a 19 year old private at Chelsea Barracks and he served in the South African War. Bertrancourt Military Cemetery Grave Reference: I.C.14
Nottingham Evening Post 18th October 1916: ‘Sergeant Clay, of the York and Lancaster Regiment, formerly of the Sheffield City Police, who has been killed in the trenches by a piece of shell, was a native of Nottingham, and his father, Mr. W. Clay, still lives in Aberdeen-street, Carlton-road. The deceased served through the South African war and received two medals and six clasps. He was a proficient swimmer and was actively identified with the Sheffield Life-Saving Association. Sergeant Clay himself lived in Nottingham for more than 30 years prior to joining the police force.’ Article courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914 -1918. Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Thursday 29 June 1916, report with photograph: ‘Sergt. Clay of the York and Lancaster Regt., who lived at 28, Driffield Street, Sheffield, and has been killed by shell fire. He went through the South African War. He was formerly a constable in the Sheffield Police Force, Walkley Division.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Thursday 29 June 1916, article headed ‘Sheffield News’: ‘Walkley Police-Officer killed. News has been received in Sheffield that Sergeant Clay of the York and Lancaster Regiment, has been killed in the trenches by a piece of shell. Sergeant Clay was an old solider. He went through the South African War, for which he received two medals and six clasps. Prior to the war he was a police constable attached to the Walkley division and was held in high esteem by both his colleagues and superiors. A letter from the front states that it was a stray shell which brought about his death, which was instantaneous. Early in the war he was with a contingent of men in a rather difficult position when his officer was killed. The sergeant took over the command immediately and brought his men safely through to their own lines, for which deed he was mentioned in dispatches. The late sergeant was an excellent swimmer, and was prominently connected with the Sheffield Life Saving Association. He gave instruction for a long time to the children of the Burton Road School in swimming and lifesaving. He also took an active interest in the Holiday Outing Association, and, with the later Councillor Crowther, frequently went with the poor children of this city to the country and seaside. Sergeant Clay was a married man, and lived at 28, Diffield Street.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Research by Peter Gillings
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