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The Channel Islands and the Great War
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Clayden, G J

Grove Town Cemetery

Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, near Albert


NEWS ITEM Jersey Evening Post of Saturday 23 January 1915

Jersey Soldier in Hospital. Information has been received in the Island that Lance Corporal G Clayden of the 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, eldest son of Mrs G Clayden of Mount Pleasant, First Tower, is at present a patient at the Red Cross Hospital in Ross, Herefordshire, suffering from septic poisoning in the leg. We wish him a speedy recovery.

NEWS ITEM in Jersey Evening Post of Monday 29 January 1917

Drum Major G Clayden Seriously Wounded. We regret to hear that Drum Major George Clayden of 2nd Seaforths, is lying at a London Casualty Clearing Station in France suffering from gun shot wounds in the chest and that permission to visit him cannot be granted. We sincerely hope that the gallant soldier's relatives, who reside at First Tower, will shortly receive news of a more favourable character.

NEWS ITEM IN Jersey Evening Post of Wednesday 31 January 1917

Roll of Honour. It is with deep regret we chronicle the death which took place on Thursday last as the result of injuries received through an enemy aircraft bomb of Sergeant Drummer George James Clayden of the Seaforths. The deceased was in his 25th year and was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs G Clayden of Mount Pleasant, First Tower, who a couple of days ago heard that their son had been wounded and have now received the sad news of his death from the following letter. "25.1.17. Dear Mrs Clayden, I am sorry to be the sender of sad news to you; your son the Drum Major of this Battalion was wounded shortly after midnight this morning. The camp in which we are at present staying was bombed by an enemy aeroplane and your son was wounded in his sleep. A piece of bomb hit him in the back and went right through his body perforating the right lung. He was attended at once by the Battalion doctor and then carried to a hospital only 200 yards away. There are women nurses in the hospital so he is getting every chance. He is quite conscious and wonderfully bright, but his brightness is of course greatly due to his brave spirit.......

.....The doctors think that there is a chance of him pulling through and we all sincerely hope so for he is very greatly liked in the Battalion and I look upon him as one of my favourite friends. I have seen him four times today and I have been trying my best to cheer him up. I took the Colonel to see him in the afternoon and I think he was pleased. I shall write to you again tomorrow to let you know what is his condition. I hope you will hear this news and bear it bravely for so brave a son must have a brave mother. You have my deepest sympathy and I ask you to hope and trust for the best. Yours faithfully, J KIRK, Chaplain.
PS. We are all greatly disappointed and deeply grieved. I went up to the hospital at 7.30pm and found that our good Drum Major had passed away at 4 o'clock. The Colonel and I had seen him at 3.15 but about 40 minutes later a rapid change for the worse took place and he passed away quietly. I have arranged for the funeral to take place tomorrow morning at 10.30. I shall write to you again tomorrow. We all mourn with you and offer you our sincerest sympathy for we feel the loss of our good comrade. JK"
"25.1.17. Dear Mrs Clayden, I have to send you the saddest news of your son Drum Major Clayden. He was brought to the 2/2 London Casualty Clearing Station last night very badly wounded in the chest. We did all we could but the lung was seriously injured and he passed away this afternoon a few hours after he came in. He was too ill and collapsed to send you any message. He will be laid to rest in the Grove Town Military Cemetery and there will be a cross to mark his resting place. I am so sorry to have to send you this distressing letter and to be able to tell you so little to comfort you.
With sincere sympathy,

Yours faithfully, W B TICE Sister in Charge 2/2 London Casualty Clearing Station".

We tender the family our sincerest sympathy in their sad bereavement.

George James Clayden
(Photograph courtesy of George Clayden)

Sergeant Drummer George James Clayden
2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders

1914 Star

Son of George and Isabella Clayden, of Mount Pleasant, First Tower, Jersey.
One of two brothers who both fell

Killed in action, aged 24 years

George James Clayden


Commonwealth War Graves Commission Record


Pictures courtesy of Mike & Rosemarie Thomas