Samuel Clay was born 1892 in Bradford. He was the son of Arthur Clay, born 1866 in Leeds, and Mary Hannah Moore born 1869, who were married in 1887 at St Chrystostom, BradfordIn 1891 the family were living at 1 Back Stinkwell Terrace off Bolton Road. Arthur Clay was a labourer in Chemical Works. Arthur and Mary had two children, Herbert, born 1889, and Blanche who was three months old. Samuel, named for his paternal grandfather, was born in 1892 in Bolton, Bradford and baptised on the
8th of February 1893 at St Chrystostom Mission. Shortly afterwards his parents separated and his mother Mary Hannah went to live with Thomas Arthur Kirton. By 1901 the family were living in the parish of St Augustine. Thomas Arthur Kirton born 1873 in Bradford was a labourer in the gas works and he and Mary are the parents of Melissa Kirton Clay born 1897 and Willie Kirton Clay born 1899. On the 1901 census Thomas is shown as a single man and Mary as a married woman boarder.
In 1911 the family, with the exception of Blanche, now married, were living at 60 King Street, with Thomas Kirton still working at the gas works. Herbert is a weaver and Samuel is working as a mule spinner.By the summer of 1914 Samuel was a serving soldier, Private 10277 in the British Army. He had enlisted in the Duke of Wellingtons at the age of 18 and had been drafted to Portobella Barracks. The 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment was stationed in Dublin as part of the 13th Brigade of the 5th Division and on the 4th
August 1914 they were mobilised for war. Killed in actionSam had been hoping to serve in India but the war intervened and his Regiment landed at La Havre on the 16th August 1914 and were engaged in various actions on the Western Front. Samuel was killed in action on the 24th September 1914, one of the 7,870 men from this Regiment to lose their lives. He is buried in the Vauxbain French National Cemetery at Aisne, four miles from Soissons which holds 161 war graves.
Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom grateful thanks