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CLIFTON VILLAGE WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 & Afghanistan - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Carol Gill 2001

The war memorial is in the centre of the village in the form of shelter (shrine), at the junction with Grange Street and Church Street, and is a Grade II listed building. It was constructed by Mr Wright and Mr Percival, of Shefford and was dedicated and unveiled 19 March 1922. Thre are 30 names listed for World War 1, 8 for World War 2, and one for Afghanistan (2001-2014).

Photographs Copyright © Carol Gill 2003

Within a wreath top centre:-

"To our Fallen Comrades who died for others
from the ex-servicemen"

In Honoured Memory of the Men of this Parish who Fell in the Great Wars

1914-1918

ARMOUR

Frank
Company Sergeant Major, 27907, 17th Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers. Killed in action Sunday, 29th August 1915 in France & Flanders. Age 42. Born Shefford, enlisted Bedford. Son of Joseph Cooper Armour and Emma Armour, of Clifton; husband of Hannah Armour, of Shefford Rd., Clifton. Buried in Houplines Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France. Plot I. Row C. Grave 37.

ARNOLD

F
probably Fred Arnold, Private 328329, 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. Killed in action Friday, 8th March 1918 in France & Flanders. Born Whitwell, Herts, enlisted Bedford. Commemorated in London Cemetery, Neuville-Vitasse, Pas de Calais, France. Wancourt Road Cemetery No. 2 Memorial, Panel 2.

ARNOLD

W
probably William James Arnold, Private 43985, 170th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action Sunday, 3rd June 1917 in France & Flanders. Age 35. Born Hinxworth, Herts, enlisted Carlisle, resident Hitchin, Herts. Husband of Hilda Arnold, of 85, Common View, Letchworth, Herts. Formerly 7247, Bedfordshire Regiment. Buried in Rue-du-Bois Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, Pas de Calais, France. Plot III. Row A. Grave 12.

BALDOCK

Arthur
Sergeant 9602, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Saturday, 31st October 1914 in France & Flanders. Born Welwyn, Herts, enlisted Bedford, resident Clifton. No known grave. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 31 and 33

He died in a massive German attack on British positions just outside Ypres, the last real effort to break through which was only defeated by the narrowest of margins. The Bedfords occupied ground overlooking the village of Zandvoorde and the War Diary recorded "the losses were very severe on this day". The battalion had been more or less continuously engaged for the previous fortnight.

BLAND

Charles

Private 41550, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Wednesday, 18th September 1918 in France & Flanders. Age 19. Born Biggleswade, enlisted Bedford, resident Clifton. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bland, of 15, Council Cottages, Broad St., Clifton. Buried in Ronssoy Communal Cemetery, Somme, France. Row B. Grave 18.

Note: This was one of the last attacks mounted by the battalion in the war - the first day of five in which the battalion fought near Ronssoy - total casualties were 49 killed, 12 missing, 186 wounded and 3 died of wounds.

BLAND

Herbert Charles
Private 18805, "C" Company, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Died of wounds Wednesday, 3rd November 1915 in France & Flanders. Age 33. Born Clifton, enlisted Bedford, resident Langford. Son of William and Sarah Bland, of Clifton, Beds; husband of Margaret Bland, of Stockbridge, Henlow. Buried in Chocques Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot I. Row G. Grave 91.

Note: It seems likely that he was wounded in the battalion's tour of the trenches near Givenchy-les-la-Bassée which lasted from 24th to 29th October.

BURNAGE

William John
Lance Corporal, 25572, 19th Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment). Killed in action Sunday, 30th July 1916 in France & Flanders. Born Clifton, resident Biggleswade, enlisted Knowsley, Prescot, Lancs. Buried in Guillemont Road cemetery, Guillemont, Somme, France. Plot IV. Row K. Grave 2.

COOPER

John
Driver 158184, 93rd Briagde, Royal Field Artillery. Died at home 6th January 1918. Aged 39. Born West Ham, East London, although other records show he was born in Clifton in 1879, enlisted Barking, Essex. Son of George and Ellen Cooper, of Clifton; husband of Florence Cooper, of 50, Sandhurst Rd., Bedford. Buried north of the Chapel in Clifton Baptist Chapelyard, Clifton, Bedfordshire.

COOPER

William

Corporal 3/7846, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Monday, 4th September 1916 in France & Flanders. Born and resident Clifton, enlisted Bedford. No known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 2 C.

He was killed during an attack, part of the ongoing Battle of the Somme, on Falfemont Farm and Leuze Wood, not far from the village of Guillemont.

COPPERWAITE

W
possibly W COPPERWHAITE, Private, 43288, 17th Bn., Manchester Regiment who died on Sunday, 22nd April 1917. Buried in Heninel Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Row B. Grave 26.

DILLEY

Daniel
Private 9288, 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action Sunday, 14th March 1915 in France & Flanders. Age 27. Born Clifton, enlisted Northampton. Son of Fred and Ann E. Dilley, of Clifton. No known grave. Commemorated on Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 28 to 30

DILLEY

George

Corporal 22019, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 23rd April 1917 in France & Flanders. Born Clifton, enlisted Bedford, resident Biggleswade. No known grave. Commemorated on Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 5.

He was killed in an attack on la Coulotte near Arras - a total of 320 men from the battalion became casualties on that day.

DODD

William Edward
Private 8076, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regt.). Killed in action Sunday, 8th November 1914 in France & Flanders. Age 26. Born Hampstead, enlisted Stratford, resident Biggleswade. Son of Edwin and Mary Ann Dodd. No known grave. Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 20.

EARL

Frank

Lance Corporal 22562, 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. killed in action Wednesday, 7th February 1917 in France & Flanders. Age 24. Born and resident Clifton, enlisted Bedford. Son of Daniel and Hannah Earl, of Bath Place, Clifton. Buried in Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, France. Plot VII. Row F. Grave 2.

He must have been hit by a stray shell or shot by a sniper in what was known as "daily wastage" because the battalion moved into the front line that day for a week's stint near Beaumont-Hamel.

GOSS

Joseph
Private 153309, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action Thursday, 17th October 1918 in France & Flanders. Born Clifton, resident Biggleswade, enlisted Bedford. Formerly 36617, Norfolk Regiment. Buried in Quietiste Military Cemetery, Le Cateau, Nord, France. Row A. Grave 7.

GRAY

E
No further information currently.

KITELY

E
probably Albert Kiteley, Private 53447, 15/17th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment. Died Monday, 21st October 1918 in France & Flanders. Born Clifton, enlisted Hitchin, Herts. Buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XXX. Row H. Grave 9.

LEGATE

Albert Ellis
Private 31869, 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. Killed in action Saturday, 8th September 1917. Aged 30. Born Clifton, enlisted Biggleswade. Son of Ephraim and Sarah Ann Legate, of New Rd., Clifton. Formerly 26790, Bedfordshire Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated on Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 2 to 3.

LEGATE

George
Private 20284, 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Saturday, 1st July 1916 in France & Flanders. Aged 19. Born and resident Clifton, enlisted Ampthill. Son of Ephriam and S. A. Legate, of New Rd., Clifton. No known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Pier and Face 2 C. See also Ampthill Park memorial

He was killed on the now infamous "First Day of the Somme" - the day on which the British army lost more men than any other before or since. The day was largely a failure but two divisions, 30th and 18th achieved complete success. 7th Bedfords were in 18th Division and attacked the German line between Montauban-de-Picardie and Mametz. Despite its complete success, the battalion still suffered around a hundred dead.

MEEKS

Frederick William
Private 28441, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Friday, 22nd March 1918 in France & Flanders. Age 28. Born and resident Clifton, enlisted Ampthill. Son of William Henry and Minnie Meeks, of Clifton; husband of Edith Hannah Meeks, of New Rd., Clifton. Buried in Chapelle British Cemetery, Holnon, Aisne, France. Plot III. Grave 10.

The 21st March was the opening day of the huge German attack which nearly drove a wedge between the British and French armies and so came close to winning the war for Germany. The day of Private Meeks' death the battalion were near Verlaines and the War Diary states: "Early in the morning a few Germans worked into "C" Company's position, from a Sunken Road just in front of our wire. "A" and "C" Companies were heavily shelled all day and at about 2 p.m. the enemy attacked in large numbers. "C" Company's position was taken and some of our men taken prisoner. The remnants of "A" and "B" Coy hung on till surrounded by large numbers of enemy. They fought very well and only a few got back. By 4 p.m. the enemy could be seen advancing on either side of STEVENS REDOUBT. At 5 p.m. orders were received to withdraw. The withdrawal was carried out at once, but there were a number of casualties as the withdrawal had to be made across open country and the enemy machine gun and shrapnel fire was very heavy. The Battalion withdrew to VERLAINES via GERMAINE - FORESTE - VILLERS ST CHRISTOPHE and HAM. Billetted in VERLAINES for the night".

PATEMAN

Frank
Private 12136, 4th Battalion, South Wales Borders. Killed in action Thursday, 15th February 1917 in Mesopotamia. Age 25. Born Clifton, enlisted Ampthill. Son of William Pateman, of 2, Kent Cottages, Clifton. Formerly 26776, Bedfordshire Regiment. No known grave. Commemorated on Basra Memorial, Iraq. Panel 16 and 62

SHARP

Arthur
Private 201203, 1st/4th Battalion, Essex Regiment. Killed in action Tuesday, 27th March 1917 in Palestine. Born London, enlisted Northampton, resident Clifton. Husband of Mrs. Sharp, of 7, Pleasant Place, Nottingham. Formerly 22365, Bedfordshire Regiment. Buried in Gaza War Cemetery, Israel. Plot XXII. Row E. Grave 2.

SLATER

Wilfred John
Private G/24039, "D" Company, 7th Battalion, East Kent Regiment. Killed in action Friday, 12th October 1917 in France & Flanders. Age 26. Born and resident Clifton, enlisted Biggleswade. Son of Mary Ann and the late Joseph Slater. No known grave. Commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 17.

STEVENS

William John
Sergeant 3787, 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Killed in action 27th April 1915 in France & Flanders. Aged 39. Born Clifton, enlisted London. Husband of Florence R. Stevens, of 52, Gascony Avenue, West Hampstead, London. Buried in Dickebusch New Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Row D. Grave 16.

TAYLOR

Albert Alexander
Private 851, 1st/1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Yeomanry. Killed in action Saturday 12 February 1916. Aged 21. Born 19 May 1894, and resident, Clifton, enlisted Biggleswade. Educated Bedford Modern School (1908-09). Son of Francis Albert and Eleanor Annie Taylor, of Clifton; husband of Winifred Taylor, of Bakery, Clifton. In the 1911 census he was aged 16, born Clifton, a Baker Working At Home, resident with his parents in Central Street, Clifton, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. Buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row M. Grave 9. See also Bedfordshire Yeomanry Memorial and and Bedford Modern School

WALKER

William Henry
Private 27399, 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Died of wounds Saturday, 16th March 1918 in France & Flanders. Age 35. Born and resident Clifton, enlisted West Hartlepool. Son of Mr. T. Walker, of Clifton; husband of Jean Walker, of "Rowanburn," Canonbie, Dumfriesshire. Buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot XXVII. Row E.E. Grave 14.

The battalion were near Ypres and on 16th moved into the front line for a six day stint. Private Walker may have been wounded by a shell or sniper during the move and died later in the day or he may have been wounded during the previous stint, which ended on 11th March.

WATTS

Bertie Edward
Rifleman S/3850, 10th Battalion, Rifle Brigade. Killed in action Friday, 30th November 1917 in France & Flanders. Born and resident Clifton, enlisted London. No known grave. Commemorated on Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France. Panel 10 and 11.

WEST

Percy
Private 12147, 4th Battalion, South Wales Borders. Killed in action Thursday, 1st February 1917 in Mesopotamia. Age 19. Born Clifton, enlisted Biggleswade. Formerly 27352, Bedfordshire Regiment. Son of Alfred J. and Hannah West, of New Rd., Clifton. Buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq. Plot XVI. Row B. Grave 11.

WOODING

Richard
Private 20147, 8th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 19th October 1916 in France & Flanders. Born and resident Houghton Conquest, enlisted Bedford. Husband of Rose Wooding, of Clifton, Biggleswade, Beds. Buried in Bancourt British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Plot III. Row K. Grave 17. Also on Houghton Conquest Memorial.

WRIGHT

Francis Arthur
Driver No. 2514 of the 3rd/5th (London) Bde, Royal Field Artillery, and died Saturday, 8th July 1916.  He is also remembered on a memorial stone on the family plot in the All Saints Churchyard in Clifton, along with both parents and two un-named siblings who died in infancy. He was the eleventh child and sixth son of William Frederick Wright and Annie Carter who had thirteen children surviving into adulthood.   Baptised at All Saints Church in Clifton on 21 May 1882.  He never married. Commemorated in Nunhead (All Saints) Cemetery in the Parish of St Giles, Camberwell. Screen Wall Panels 1 to 6
1939-1945

COCKCROFT

Robert Vernon
Aircraftman 1st Class, 1216583, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on Wednesday, 11th March 1942. Age 22. Son of Flt. Sgt. R. Cockcroft and F]orence E. Cockcroft, of Clifton. Buried in Victoria (Royal Oak) Burial Park, British Columbia, Canada.

COCKCROFT

R
No further information currently.

DUNBABIN

James
Private, 5956262, 5th Bn., Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regt who died on Tuesday, 12th September 1944. Age 29. No known grave. Commemorated on Singapore memorial, Singapore. Column 63.

GOSBY

Stanley Arthur
Private, 7265046, 3 General Hospital, Royal Army Medical Corps who died on Wednesday, 22nd May 1940. Age 19. Son of Samuel George and Jessie Gosby, of Clifton. Buried in Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer, Seine-Maritime, France. Row C. Grave 66.

NAPIER

George [Emmerson]

Chief Steward, S.S. City of Cairo (Liverpool), Merchant Navy. Presumed lost on his way home from India 14 November 1942, when his ship was lost by enemy action. Aged 32. Son of Matthew and Hannah Napier, of Broad Street, Clifton, latterly Mrs. H. Napier, of Lowestoft, Suffolk, brother of Stanley (below). No known grave. Commemorated on Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 29.

Extract from Biggleswade Chronicle - Friday 12 November 1943:

NAPIER—In proud and loving memory of Chief Steward George Napier, R.N. (presumed lost on his way home from India) and of his brother, Sergt.-gunner Stanley Napier, R.A.F., officially reported killed in action. December 14th, 1941; beloved sons of Mrs. Napier, of 25, Broad Street, Clifton, Beds.

NAPIER

Stanley
Sergeant, 626781, 209 Sqdn., Royal Air Force who died on Sunday, 14th December 1941. Aged 21. Son of Matthew and Hannah Napier, of Clifton, brother of George (above). No known grave. Commemorated on Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, Surrey. Panel 49.

Extract from Biggleswade Chronicle - Friday 12 November 1943:

NAPIER—In proud and loving memory of Chief Steward George Napier, R.N. (presumed lost on his way home from India) and of his brother, Sergt.-gunner Stanley Napier, R.A.F., officially reported killed in action. December 14th, 1941; beloved sons of Mrs. Napier, of 25, Broad Street, Clifton, Beds.

PAGE

S
No further information currently.

RAINBOW

Edwin George
Lance Corporal, 14558379, Royal Army Ordnance Corps who died on Saturday, 4th March 1944. Age 19. Son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Rainbow, of Shefford. Buried in the New Churchyard, All Saints, Clifton. Grave 81C.
Afghanistan (2001-2014)
KITULAGODA Jonathan Peter
Private 25140511, Devon & Dorset Company, The Rifle Volunteers. Killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan 28 January 2004. Aged 23. Born 20 September 1980. Educated Plymouth University. Buried in All Saints' Church Cemetery, Church Street, Clifton, Bedfordshire.

Last updated 28 March, 2018

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