Sunday, 22 November 2015

John Clegg 1896-1916, age 20

Barnsley Chronicle 17th February 1917
Thanks to Barnsley Archives
Born: 20th February 1896 at Dodworth, Barnsley. 

Son of: James and Elizabeth Anne Clegg nee Waters. James was a miner and married Elizabeth at St John's Church in Barnsley on 15th July 1882.  Elizabeth, born in Barnsley in 1862, died at the age of 70 in 1933. The couple had 7 children by 1911, and all survived at this date. 

  • Charles William 1883 
  • Harry 1884
  • Christiana 1892
  • Annie
  • Frank 1894
  • John 1896-1916, WW1 death. 
  • Alice 1902

The family lived at Silver Street in Dodworth in 1901, moving to 98 High Street Dodworth by 1911. John was a rope lad at the age of 15, working below ground, and later became an electrician at Rob Royd Colliery. 

Military Service: John was a Private in the 1st Royal Marine Light Infantry Battalion, service number CH/19403. He enlisted on 10th November 1914. 

Death: 13th November 1916 in France. He was wounded and missing and it was assumed that he died of wounds.  

Remembered: John has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France on Pier and Face 1A.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission link: here  

Note 1: The superb family website gives more information about John's life (he was known as Jack) and his experiences from the letters he sent home. 

Note 2: The Barnsley Chronicle 27 January 1917 reported: 
A Missing Marine
News Anxiously Awaited of Barnsley Lad
Mrs Clegg, formerly of Barnsley who is now residing with her daughters at 43, Duke Street, Glossop, is anxiously awaiting news of her son, Private John Clegg, who enlisted at the age of 18 on November 9th 1914 in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, and from whom she has not heard since November 9th last. Under date December 5th 1916, Mrs Clegg received official intimation that her son had been wounded on November 13th, but no mention of his whereabouts was made. Three weeks later she received another official communication which read "previously reported wounded, now posted as wounded and missing during an engagement on November 13th"
From leaving school up to a month previous to enlisting when he went to work at the Church Lane Colliery, Private Clegg worked at Rob Royd Colliery. After completing his training he went out to Gallipoli, going through all the fighting there, and afterwards being transferred to Egypt. For several weeks he was in hospital in Alexandria, suffering from dysentry. On recovering, Private Clegg went to France, and again took his place in the trenches. His elder brother Private C. W. Clegg is serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers and was reported wounded , but has recovered, and is now in the fighting line again. Up to  short time ago Mrs Clegg resided in Crompton Avenue, Racecommon Road, Barnsley, The missing hero as well known in the district, being attached to the Salem Young Men's Bible Class, a member of the Y.M.C.A. and a scholar at the Technical school, where for a long period he took lessons under Mr. D. Paton Grubb, and Mr Matthews. His mother was also identified with the Salem Church. His many friends are much concerned as to his safety, and would welcome any news of his whereabouts

Note 3: John's link to the Kingstone area is the Crompton Avenue address. 

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