CLAYDEN, William Edwin

No.2733651, Sergeant, William Edwin CLAYDEN
Aged 26

1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 22nd May 1940

William Edwin CLAYDEN was born in Steeple Bumpstead (Risbridge Q2-1914 4A:1714), son of Sidney William [16/9/1884] and Ethel Mary CLAYDEN 18/7/1881] (née PEACOCK).

In 1939 his parents were in Church Street, Steeple Bumpstead, father a blacksmith/wheelwright.

The 1st Welsh Guards went to France in 1939 as protection for G.H.Q at Arras and from 17th to 24th May 1940 were the nucleus of the force defending Arras,before being ordered to withdraw to Dunkirk. Fourteen of the battalion are buried in Arras Communal Cemetery. records that the Halstead Gazette carried the following report on 16th June 1940
"Steeple Bumpstead Casualty - Intimation has been received of the death on active service in France of Platoon Sergt.Maj. William E (Bill) Clayden, elder son of Mr. and Mrs. S.W.Clayden of Steeple Bumpstead. Deceased, who was only just 26 years of age, was of a genial disposition and was highly respected in the village and district, where his parents are so well known. He was educated at the local school and for a time was employed as a roundsman by Mr. C R Green.He joined the Welsh Guards when he was 18 years of age, and having completed seven years service signed on for a further period just prior the the commencement of hostilities. He went to France with the BEF in October last year. Much sympathy will be felt with Mr and Mrs Clayden in their loss"

photo courtesy Ian Westrope

photo: Rodney Gibson

William Clayden is buried in Arras Communal Cemetery, grave 10:1:50

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

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