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Born: 1892, Bradford
Died: 24 September 1914
Buried: Vauxbain French National Cemetery, Aisne
Address: 60 King Street, Eccleshill
Parents: Arthur and Mary Hannah, nee Moore
Spouse:
Siblings: Herbert,,Blanche -  Melissa Kirton Clay and Willie Kirton Clay (step)
Occupation: Mule spinner
Organisations/clubs:
Military
Rank: Pte
Medals/awards:
Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill (Park)
Children:
Regiment:Duke of Wellington’s
Samuel Clay
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Samuel Clay was born 1892 in Bradford. He was the son of Arthur Clay, born 1866 in Leeds, and Mary Hannah Moore born 1869, who were married in 1887 at St Chrystostom, Bradford In 1891 the family were living at 1 Back Stinkwell Terrace off Bolton Road.   Arthur Clay was a labourer in Chemical Works.   Arthur and Mary had two children, Herbert, born 1889, and Blanche who was three months old.  Samuel, named for his paternal grandfather, was born in 1892 in Bolton, Bradford and baptised on the
8th of February 1893 at St Chrystostom Mission.  Shortly afterwards his parents separated and his mother Mary Hannah went to live with Thomas Arthur Kirton. By 1901 the family were living in the parish of St Augustine.   Thomas Arthur Kirton born 1873 in Bradford was a labourer in the gas works and he and Mary are the parents of Melissa Kirton Clay born 1897 and Willie Kirton Clay born 1899.  On the 1901 census Thomas is shown as a single man and Mary as a married woman boarder.
In 1911 the family, with the exception of Blanche, now married, were living at 60 King Street, with Thomas Kirton still working at the gas works.   Herbert is a weaver and Samuel is working as a mule spinner. By the summer of 1914 Samuel was a serving soldier, Private 10277 in the British Army.  He had enlisted in the Duke of Wellingtons at the age of 18 and had been drafted to Portobella Barracks. The 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment was stationed in Dublin as part of the 13th Brigade of the 5th Division and on the 4th
The Shipley Times & Express included some poignant facts around Samuel’s death A postcard issued by the Army was written on September 23rd in the fighting line which informed the anxious mother that he soldier son was well. He had fought at Mons and had helped to whip the Germans on the Marne but last Friday the mother was informed he had been killed in action on September 24th. That is the tragic suddenness of war – well one day and buried the next. In the last letter he wrote home from Ireland he enclosed a good sum for his mother, telling her not to think he had won it by gambling for he had received it from the colour-sergeant in settling accounts. His mother said he was a real good lad, helped at home, proud of his regiment and a favourite with his chums. On the last night of his last furlough at home he remarked to his young brother, “Come along, lad, let’s have another game at dominoes; it may be the last time.” And so it proved.
August 1914 they were mobilised for war. Killed in action Sam had been hoping to serve in India but the war intervened and his Regiment landed at La Havre on the 16th August 1914 and were engaged in various actions on the Western Front.  Samuel was killed in action on the 24th September 1914, one of the 7,870 men from this Regiment to lose their lives.  He is buried in the Vauxbain French National Cemetery at Aisne, four miles from Soissons which holds 161 war graves.
Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom grateful thanks
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