CLARKE William James

Known information

William James Clarke was born at 5 Chapel Street, Belton on 15 March 1881, the eldest son of William and Mary Clarke. His father was one of two village bakers. In 1909 William married Kate Stevenson, the daughter of the landlord of the local pub, the Sun Inn. They moved to Tugby and William worked as a carpenter and was also served as a parish councillor. The couple had two sons, William George born in 1910 and Richard the year after. William joined the army, aged 35, on the 8 November 1916, after conscription had begun, and served in the Leicestershire Regiment. After two months of training he went to France on 13 January 1917. He was killed just three months later, on 22 April 1917, during the battle of Arras, as his battalion attacked a main German trench near Lens.  More than 60 Leicestershires were killed or injured that day. William's family was told that he was hit by a sniper. He has no known grave and so is commemorated on Bay 5 of the Arras Memorial. By the time the war ended, Kate had moved back to Belton with her two sons and lived at Homeleigh, now 22 Main Street, and next door to the pub. She never remarried and died in Belton 15 years later at the age of 45. There's a memorial headstone in the churchyard to both William and Kate (see photograph below).

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  • Belton Church
  • William Clarke JB1
  • William Clarke JB2
  • Belton Memorial
  • Belton Memorial 2
  • Arras Memorial
  • Arras Memorial 9
  • W J Clarke

User contributions

A picture of his name on the memorial, taken 19 March 2016.
By John Stokes on Saturday 19th March '16 at 10:28pm
A Rutlander, living in Belgium

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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