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Private 57334 Clive Williams 1/8 Royal Warwickshire Regiment

CAWSW

knowlegable brummie
My family is fortunate not to have endured any casualties during either the First or the Second World War. After many years of attending the Cenotaph in London, I realised that I wanted to focus my remembrance on one particular service person, and see if anyone that shared my name was killed in the World Wars. In November 2005 I decided to undertake a search on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission website to see if a Clive Williams had died in war. It seems strange writing from my heart about a man I never knew, who had no connection with me, and who had already been dead for over fifty years by the time I was born in 1972. I fear disturbing his spirit, when he laid down his life to rest in eternal peace, yet I feel driven to research out more and more information about this stranger, to keep his memory alive. Private Clive Williams died of wounds on 20th November 1918, a little over a week after the Armistice, at No. 12 General Hospital. His death was reported in the Tamworth Herald on 7th December and again a week later. His body was buried at the St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France and his name is recorded on the War Memorial, Holy Trinity Church, Wilnecote, the Tamworth and District War Memorial and on the Pooley Hall Memorial

CIVILIAN LIFE


Born:
18/05/1894

Place:
Langley, Worcestershire

Grandparents:
Levi Williams, Married (1) Dinah Lewis, 10 June 1840 at St. Leonard’sClement (mother of Levi Arthur); (2) Jane Shaw, 1 September 1862 at StThomas’s, Dudley

Parents:
Levi Arthur Williams, (1854 - 1909), Married (1) Emma J Godfrey,September Quarter 1874 at Rowley Regis. Onedaughter, Martha Jane; (2) Amplias Williams, (1856 - ?), September Quarter 1881at Sandwell

Siblings:
Henrietta Amplias Swain Williams, (1882 - ?), Rowley Regis,Staffordshire; Married Dr Daniel McColl, September Quarter 1911, Tamworth
Arthur Swain Williams, (1892 - ?), Rowley Regis, Staffordshire

Marital Status: Single

Children: None

Education:
(Known: Did not attend Wilnecote High)

Career:
Colliery Labourer, Pooley Hall Colliery (?-?)
Colliery Labourer, Kingsbury Colliery Co. (? - ?/?/1916)

Addresses:
(1894) Vicarage Road, Langley,Worcestershire

(1901 Census) ‘Myrtle Cottage’, Waterfall Lane, Rowley Regis, Warwickshire (nowStaffordshire)

(1911 Census) 4 Watling Street, Wilnecote, Tamworth, Staffordshire
(
1918) Amplias lived at ‘Holy Cottage’, Polesworth, Tamworth,Warwickshire (now Staffordshire)

MILITARY LIFE

Rank:
Private

Number:
57334

Regiment:
1st/8th Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Enlisted:
?/?/1916, Tamworth, Warwickshire (now Staffordshire)

Died:
20/11/1918 (24), No. 12 General Hospital of wounds sustained in theBattle of the Sambre

Buried:
S.III.W.5, St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France

Death reported:
P.3, ‘Tamworth Herald’ 7/12/1918 & 14/12/1918
20/11/1919: "Make Firm O God The Peace For Which HeDied"

I have had much fantastic and friendly assistance over the years from Dr Carl Chinn, BlackCountry Bugle, and various people on sites such as Rowley Regis. I was told by a nameless person that they know someone who has Clive's medals. Who? What connection? Clearly someone knows something. All I really want is a photograph so I can see, connect more with, one of our brave dead.


 

CAWSW

knowlegable brummie
130-odd views but no replies suggests no one has information. With a week to Remembrance Day my search for Clive continues. However, I know as fact that someone out there has Clive's medals and knows more about him. A poppy wreath will be laid at Clive's grave this year, as every year. One day I hope to visit.
 
W

Wendy

Guest
Hello Cawsw I have only just looked at your post. What a lovely idea to do what you have. I live in Tamworth and if I can help in any way please let me know. It may be a little late but an email to the Tamworth Herald may help locate this mans family. I think there is a forum about WW1. One of our members Terry Carter visits the Somme regularly and has taken photo's for me and other members of graves and cemeteries.
We are now reunited with my husbands grandfathers medals due to a contact on Genes Reunited. The man who had then was a collector and he also had done a lot of research which my late brother in law wrote an article about. My husband often wondered why the medals were not kept. I told him one reason his granny re married and they may have needed the money who knows.
Good luck with your quest let me know if I can help.
 

CAWSW

knowlegable brummie
Hello Mistress Brummie, or may I call you Wendy? I'm Clive. Thank you for a lovely post and for your kind comments, suggestions and offers.

What an interesting story about your husband's grandfather's medals. Which one's was he awarded? Did he die in the war? It must be a real joy for them to be back in the hands of the family.

It is very important to me that I am able to "personalise" my Remembrance Day by honouring Private Williams's memory. I ensure time on his birthday, the date of his death, and during acts of remembrance to reflect on what Private Williams and all those other brave, honourable boys and men did by giving their lives. I researched a little about Clive, although his secrets are not easily given! Every year I pay for the Royal British Legion to lay a poppy wreath at Clive's grave. One day I would like to visit the grave to pay my personal respects, but this is currently not possible as I am unemployed.

I had interviews/articles in the Blackcountry Bugle and the Tamworth Herald about my quest. The TH were able to tell me that memoriam messages about Clive were published 7/12/1918, 14/12/1918 and 20/11/1919; I also think in 1945, but am not sure? Ideally I would like a photograph. Perhaps you would know if 4 Watling Street and Holy Cottage are still standing?
 
W

Wendy

Guest
Hello Clive of course you can call me Wendy.

My husbands grandfather had the ordinary campaign medals and the star. They were not cheap but priceless to the family. John Charles Pockett died on 30th July 1916 at the Somme aged 32. My husbands mother was just 3 when he was killed. We have been to his grave and my mother in law went as well when she was 80 a very moving experience.

I can understand why you need to find out more about Clive and his family. I would think he moved to Tamworth to work in the mines. It looks like he grew up in Rowley Regis. I wonder if he moved to Tamworth because his sister did or did they live together at one point.
No 4 Watling Street Wilnecote. I will take a look it must be close to the Red Lion Pub most of the houses that were in this area are gone now. I will also see what I can find on Holy Cottage I would think this could be near Polesworth Abbey because of the name.

It's a pity not many people have local papers now and so probably never saw your request. Were family mentioned in his obituarys. The family could have died out but we will see what we can find. Wendy.
 

CAWSW

knowlegable brummie
Hi Wendy,

What an exceptionally touching story you tell. I can only imagine how difficult, how emotional, yet how essential, the visit to Mr Pockett's grave must be, especially for your mother-in-law. To lose her father at such a young age must have been terrible... to lose him in such circumstances, considerable. Then, to visit the resting place at such an age, gosh I can feel the tears now.

I do not know if anyone has visited Clive's grave in the 93 years since his death, but I do know a wreath is placed at his grave these past few years, with the help of the Royal British Legion. I am not aware that family were mentioned in Clive's obituaries, but with a date of one being 1919 and another possibly in 1945, there was someone... once.

As for the addresses, well Clive was born in Langley, moved to Rowley Regis, then Wilnecote, and by the time of his death, his mother, at least, was living in Polesworth. I contacted the Fr. of Polesworth Abbey, but he has no record of a Williams in the graveyard. His name is recorded on the war memorial in Holy Trinity Church, Wilnecote; the Tamworth & District memorial; and Pooley Hall Colliery memorial. I also know he worked at both Pooley Hall and Kingsbury collieries.


In many respects finding the minor details, like which schools Clive attended, when and where he signed up, what his jobs were... these things bring more personal relevance and character than medals ever could. I’d probably stop all further research if Icould find a photo as that would mean everything – to see the eyes of one I now feel so connected to.

Thank you for the heads up about other parts of this site. I posted a link in the 1/8 Royal Warwickshire Regiment forum! If only I had known in the first place that there was such a forum!

Cheers, Wendy!

Clive
 

CAWSW

knowlegable brummie
Wendy, what a very informative and touching read. I cried at the end reading that Connie had died, but pleased she had managed to visit her father's grave. "...when you live in the hearts of those you love Remember then you never die."
 
W

Wendy

Guest
My mother in law Connie was such a lovely lady and she kept all the photo's we now have. The one upsetting time for us was when she had a break in at her bungalow after my father in law had died. The scum stole a locket with a photo of her mother and John I will never forget how upset she was. How can these people live with themselves.
 

dottieau

master brummie
Wendy thank you for sharing that link what a beautiful tribute, makes you sad to read but happy that Connie was able to make that journey to at least see her fathers resting place.
 

CAWSW

knowlegable brummie
Wendy, that is terrible and must have been such a shock. I do not know why people perpetrate a crime: an opportunity at that moment? To to feed an addiction? To reduce a debt? But these criminals never realise the sentimental or emotional connection associated with an object, they just see ££££. Take the bloody locket, but please leave the photos. Is it Matthew that says "You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Connie was clearly a dear lady, brought up in difficult circumstances, and lived by a moral code, who made friends and had a loving family. Her memory lives long... here we are many years after her death speaking in glowing terms about her. What about the criminal? Who he? Would he spark such tributes? No crime can ever erase the memories of Connie, her mother and father.
 
W

Wendy

Guest
Not exactly as it would have looked when Clive Williams lived there but this is no 4 Watling Street as it looks today.
 
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CAWSW

knowlegable brummie
Thank you. Not quite what I thought! Interesting to see though. Now try and find a photo of Clive!!!!
 
W

Wendy

Guest
I think in it's day it would have been a lovely little house...ah well. I am still searching for any info on Clive but as you say he is rather elusive.
 
W

Wendy

Guest
Thanks for that Colin a very useful site. There you are Clive give that one a try if you haven't already.
 

CAWSW

knowlegable brummie
Hello, Hello,

Thank you, Colin for the link. Already contacted them and had a lovely reply today which is cut and paste here:

Hi Clive

Thanks for getting in touch, I've had a read through the posts on the
Birmingham History forum, that's a sad story.

I'm afraid I don't have those medals, if I did then I wouldn't hesitate
in passing them back to the family. I do also keep a log of all the
medals I can track that have been offered for sale, this goes back over
2 years now and covers over 300 World War One recipients, but Private
Williams isn't listed. That means there is a 90% chance his medals
haven't been offered for sale recently, although I can't cover every
listing, I get over most.

I am a member on a medal collectors forum and I will ask on there,
there are several Warwicks collectors (we tend to collect based on a
regiment).

Good luck with your quest, I hope you find them. I don't know if you
have read the book 'By god they can fight' by Peter Caddick Adams, but
this is a detailed look at the brigade in which the 1/8th Warwicks
served, you are probably aware that 1/8 were a territorial battalion,
one of 4. The 5th and 6th were originally based in Thorpe Street
Barracks Birmingham, the 7th in Warwickshire and the 8th in Aston in
Birmingham. They had a very fine reputation. The book is well worth
reading and if you google it you will find it available.

I will keep searching and I will keep your email, if I find anything I
will let you know.

Kind regards

Darren Parker-Mead
 
W

Wendy

Guest
Clive I do hope you see this. The strangest thing happened today. I don't often buy the local paper in Tamworth but saw it in the newsagents so decided to buy one. I read through it while eating my lunch I started reading the article below and nearly choked on my sandwich. The name Dr Daniel McColl jumped off the paper it has to be the same man as you have been searching for and listed in the article is the family and date of the funeral of his and Amplia's daughter.


 
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