CLAYDEN, Frank Stephen

No.9498, Private, Frank Stephen CLAYDON
Aged 19

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 30th March 1916

Frank Stephen Clayden was born in Steeple Bumpstead (Risbridge Q1-1897 4A:767), son of Charles and Harriet CLAYDEN (née BACON). The family name varies from CLAYDEN to CLAYDON. Likewise his Christian names are at times Frank, and at others, Stephen, or, of course, STEVEN.

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Churchfield, Steeple Bumpstead with his father Charles CLAYDEN [48] farm labourer; his mother Harriet [40]; brothers Harry [14] farm labourer, John [11], Sidney [9] and Arthur [6];sister Alice [2]. All were born in Steeple Bumpstead.

1911 census...Aged 14, a farm hand, he was at North Street, Steeple Bumpstead with his parents; brothers Harry (farm labourer) and Arthur (milkman); sister Alice.

CWGC have the family at The Chase which is just off North Street.

His brother Arthur Clayden was killed serving in Belgium in the Northumberland Fusiliers in 1915, see here

and brother George Thomas Clayden was killed serving in France in the Rifle Brigade in 1918. see here

Frank enlisted in York. It looks as if both brothers moved to York at some time, since Arthur also enlisted in York.

The battalion was in the line near Hulluch, in trenches Saville Row, Mud Alley and West Face, at a time when the emphasis was on tunnelling. The war diary says:-
"In the line - 30th March - The enemy fired some whizz bangs (usually a 77m/m (18 pounder)into the QUARRY, wounding five men. We retaliated and the firing ceased".

CWGC have two of the battalion killed that day, which supports the plaque that says Frank (Stephen) was killed by a sniper.

The trenches mentioned were to the ENE of the Quarry

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Frank Clayden is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, grave 2:E:19

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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