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James Walesby Clayton

Warrant Wardmaster James Walesby Clayton, M/9413(CH), Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve,"H.M.S. ""Pembroke

James Wailsby (or Walesby) Clayton was born on the 15th December 1863 at St. Swithen, Lincoln, the youngest child and second son of tailor James W. Clayton and his wife, Sarah, nee Ryall, who married in 1858. The couple had four children from their marriage. Sadly Sarah died in late 1863, most probably giving birth to her fourth child, James.

James remained in Lincolnshire until the 1890s when he moved to Ossett and married Lydia Radley in Spring 1892 at Dewsbury. James was 28 years of age and Lydia was then aged 40. In 1901, the couple were living on Dale Street, Ossett where James was working on his own account as a fishmonger and carrier.

By 1911, James and his wife, Lydia, had moved to Town End, Ossett from where James carried on his work as a carrier in his own account. The couple had no children but a 46 year-old unmarried niece, Eliza Lockwood, was staying with them.

James gained employment as head horseman in the employ of the Ossett Co-operative Society and some time later he joined the Ossett ambulance brigade. Great Britain declared war on the German Empire on 4th August 1914 and by 19th August he had signed up and was stationed at Deal Military Hospital in Kent; he also worked on hospital trains. James had recently returned to the Hospital following a bout of influenza and on 1st December 1918 he was engaged in cleaning work on an upper storey when he fell to the ground and received injuries which proved to be fatal. The official cause of death was that he was killed in an accident on the rigging.

James Wailsby Clayton, aged 55, of 9 Town End Ossett died on the 3rd December 1918 and was buried at Ossett Holy Trinity Church on the 7th December 1918 just two weeks before another old Ossett soldier, Joshua Lockwood, aged 52, was buried at the same Church.1

James Wailsby Clayton, Warrant Wardmaster, Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve at HMS Pembroke , M/9413 (CH) was awarded the British War Medal indicating that he did serve overseas but, because he was not awarded the Victory Medal, he did not serve in a theatre of war.

1. Ossett (Holy Trinity) Church Cemetery