Clayton’s of Barnsley Road, Wakefield

Clayton’s of Barnsley Road, Wakefield

Who to choose?  Whose life and deeds to tell of?  What a hard decision it has been today.  I thought about the policeman in Wakefield Goal mentioned in my last effort. No. I ended up going through my website to see who was of interest and it was there in the Absent Voters List for 1918 that I found him/them.

As many locals know Barnsley Road, Wakefield is one of the major roads in the area.  The A61, starting in Derby and finishing in Thirst takes you through a great deal of the old industrial areas of Yorkshire.  Now, sections of this road have been absorbed into the M1 and A1.

Why have I told you this?  Well, just to tell the reader that this road, before the addition of motorways was an important part of the infrastructure of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Just outside the city boundaries and past the bus depot is Broxbourne.  I remember passing this house as a child and I always remember it being painted a creamy colour with blue paintwork.  I also seem to think at some time the house was the home of a doctor – possibly in the 1950s or ’60s.

As they say in a tv programme ‘Who lives in a place like this?’ or should I say ‘Who lived in a place like this?’

Going back to the Absent Voters List for 1918 section H there is William Kitson Clayton a Lieutenant Colonel in the RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps) and his son William Douglas Clayton a LIeutenant in the 1st Yorks.

William Kitson Clayton was born in Leeds c1860.  By 1881 William was living in Wakefield with Joe (?) Clayton (possibly a brother).  William was aged 21, a medical student living in the home of Wm. Sanderson, a stationer at 77 Kirkgate.  During the next few years, William met Ada Baldwin and early in 1885 the couple married in St Mary Magdelene’s Church, Outwood on February the 11th.  William’s father, Joe stated he was a wine and spirit merchant.  While Ada’s father, William was a farmer.  The witnesses to this union, well there were a few of them, were W C Clayton, E A Clayton, Wm Baldwin, Joseph Clayton, C Baldwin,? Baldwin and C W Baldwin.

The newly married couple then lived on Main Street, Aberford and in the 1911 census they can be found with their children  Gladys B and Madalene, William’s brother John Clayton, a Granter School Scholar, Jessica Edwards a hospital nurse, and two domestic servants.

The family are now back in Wakefield, 83 Northgate, where William is a physician and surgeon.  His family had grown in the last 10 years – Gladys Baldwin was now 13, Madalene 10, and now included Margorie C, 8 and William Douglas aged 6.  The family now had three servants and a visitor, 38-year-old J E Gledhill (?), a medical practitioner born in Mauritius.

The next 10 years in William’s life are tinted with both sadness and joy.  In 1904 Ada died aged 41.  The following year William remarried to Ada Willcox and the newly married couple were in 1911 living in Grove House, Grove Road, wakefield.  No family was living with them only two servants, one of whom was Norwegian.  During the census year, William Douglas Clayton has now aged 16  a pupil at Epsom College.

William Kitson Clayton during The Great War served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He must have served from 1915 onwards as he was awarded the 1915 Star plus the British and Victory Medals.  He applied for his medals in August 1921.

Territorial Decoration via Wikipedia

Before receiving his military service medals, he had been awarded the Territorial Decoration in the 1919 New Years Honours List.  The Territorial Decoration being a long service decoration for a minimum of 20 years commissioned service with war service counting as double time.

William Douglas Clayton as we know also served during WW1 – he served in the Yorkshire Regiment as a Lieutenant and later Acting Captain.  Like his father, he was awarded the 1915 Star along with the British and Victory Medals.  William Douglas not only did he serve in Europe, but he also served in India and Ireland.  He Attested in Wakefield on 7th August 1914 before John Hepple, Captain.  He was just 18 years of age, an Oxford Undergraduate of Broxbourne, Sandal.  He was 5′ 7½” tall with good eyesight and now was in the RAMC as a Private number 39 with the Mounted Brigade  Field Ambulance.  He was with the Corps until December 1914 and then left to attend Officer Training College, Camberley.  It seems he might have also been at Sandhurst for some time.

The British Army List has William Douglas born on 24th February 1895 being appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the Yorkshire Regiment on 16th of June 1915.  Attaining the rank of Lieutenant in September of that year.

Sometime after the war but before 1929, the family moved to Scarborough – living on the Esplanade.  And it was on the 17th of October 1929, William Douglas married Hilda Faith Thompson.  Hilda was the daughter of Geoffrey Ward Thompson, Doctor of Medicine, General Practitioner. Less than a decade later, William Kitson Clayton of 13 Esplanade Road, Scarborough died on 12th November 1937.  Probate was granted in Wakefield in February the following year to his widow Edith Mary Clayton and William Douglas Clayton retired Major in His Majesties Army and Thomas Edward Catterall solicitor.  The sum of £5124 11s 1d.

The family were on the move again and Edith Mary by now was a resident of Holloway Sanatorium, Virginia Water, Surrey, on the 6th of  June 1959 died.  Probate again was granted in Wakefield to Christopher Malcolm Percy Willcox, company director, William Douglas Clayton now a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and Harry Moxon solicitor. The sum of £2668 4s.

William Douglas Clayton died in St Albans in the summer of 1978.  Hilda Mary died in late spring 1988 aged 82.  Her death was included in The Times death notices.

There is one member of the family Madalene that according to the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) was killed while a firewatcher at the Bar Convent, Blossom Street, York.  Madelene was known as Mother Mary Magnes and was one of five sisters who lost their lives during the Baedeker Raids in April 1942.  The Convent during WW2 gave safety to Belgian nuns and refugee children.  The Concert Hall was converted into a hospital for wounded soldiers.

The Baedeker Raids between April and June 1942 were purposely targetted at Britains historical towns including Norwich, Canterbury, Exeter, Bath and York in retaliation for the RAF bombing Lubeck earlier that year.   The attack on the 28/29th of April saw more than 90 civilian casualties and over 200 injured.  It was estimated at the time that over 9000 properties were damaged or destroyed – including many public buildings suffered damage including the medieval Guildhall.  The old Rowntree factory was burnt to the ground.  The incoming King’s Cross to Edinburgh train heavily crowned with military personnel took a direct hit.