William Alfred CLAYTON

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CLAYTON, William Alfred

Service Number: 5074
Enlisted: 8 January 1916, Enlisted at Claremont, Tasmania
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 52nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Dover, Tasmania, Australia, 6 April 1874
Home Town: Dover, Huon Valley, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Bullecourt, France, 12 April 1917, aged 43 years
Cemetery: Noreuil Australian Cemetery
Row E, Grave 6
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Tunnack State School Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

8 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 5074, 12th Infantry Battalion, Enlisted at Claremont, Tasmania
29 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, SN 5074, 12th Infantry Battalion
29 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, SN 5074, 12th Infantry Battalion, RMS Orontes, Melbourne
20 May 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 52nd Infantry Battalion, Transferred from the 12th Battalion to the 52nd Battalion
12 Apr 1917: Involvement Private, SN 5074, 52nd Infantry Battalion

Help us honour William Alfred Clayton's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Son of Joseph and Selina Clayton of Dover, Tasmania; brother of Edward Charles Clayton who was killed in action at Pozieres on 12 April 1917

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Also served for 11 months in the Boer War with the Bethuen's Horse

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

Brothers who died in the Great War by Frank Mahieu


EDWARD CHARLES CLAYTON and his brother WILLIAM ALFRED CLAYTON were both killed on 12 April 1917. Edward was aged 29 and William aged 42 at the time they died.They both served with the 52nd Battalion AIF. The 52nd Battalion was part of 13th Brigade attached to the 4th Australian Division
They were buried at Noreuil Australian Cemetery next to each other.
They were the sons Joseph and Selina Clayton, of Dover, Tasmania, Australia.

After enlistment, both brothers sailed off with the AIF on 29 March 1915 to Egypt, and subsequently William and Edward took part in the long and bloody Gallipoli campaign. Both were lucky to survive. In Early 1916 they were sent to France. They so took part in some of the major battles on the Western Front e.g. at the Somme. In early 1917 when the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line, the 52nd Battalion was involved in the pursuit of the Germans near Bullecourt. In this action on 12 April both brothers were killed. Young Edward lost his life in the vicious figthing with the Germans and William was severely wounded later that day by the bullets of a German machine gun. He so died of wounds the same day. Ever since they rest together in Noreuil Australian Cemetery.

LEST WE FORGET.

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Sue Guinan, Tasmania in the Great War - 1914-1918

I found this post re their deaths very interesting compared to the letter received by their parents - Captain J.Clayton of Dover has received the following letter from Rev. D. H. Blackwood re the death of his two sons, Privates William and Edward Clayton :

"Dear Mr.Clayton My heart just goes out to you in deepest sympathy in the sad loss of your two noble sons in our recent turn in the line. They had done splendid work all the time, but particularly the day before they were taken That was a day of tremendous fighting. Towards evening a great many of our wounded were still lying out in No Man's Land some right away bythe enemy's wire. Your two sons, with some others, volunteered to go outin open daylight to bring them in. They worked splendidly and by dark allthe wounded had been got in. As a reward, those volunteerstretcher-bearers were sent back out of the line to supports, to have a good sleep. Strange it seems that there they should have been both caught by one shell, with three others. It was quite close to where I was at the time. We buried them with full rights of the church under fire. The next day nice crosses were erected over their graves. I believe they were to be recommended for their brave work on this occasion. It does seem strange and hard that both may have been taken together, for they always tried to keep separate in action, going in different patrols."

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