Newborough Village History
WORLD WAR I
Fifty men connected to Newborough went to fight in the First World War, and nine did not return. Their names are recorded on the brass memorial plaque and on the Roll of Service in All Saints Church, Newborough.
As the anniversary of each of their deaths comes round a special service has been held to remember them, and the march of their regiment or branch of service has been played along with The Last Post. A display of their biography has been on show and here will follow details of the men so far remembered:
Arthur Joseph Clay was the first of the men connected to Newborough to die in the First World War, but he did not die on the battlefield.
Arthur was born on 29 April 1870 at Stapenhill House, Stapenhill, (Stapenhill Gardens are the gardens to the now demolished house). He was the eldest son of Charles John Clay (a barrister, JP and director of Bass Ratcliff & Gretton, Brewers, of Burton) and “Aggie” (Agnes Lucy) née Arden, from Longcroft Hall, Yoxall.
The Clays were originally bankers and brewers in Burton. Before coming to Stapenhill they had lived at Foremark Hall (1861 Census) and previous to that at Piercefield Park, near Chepstow (where Henry Clay, Arthur Clay’s grandfather, founded the Chepstow Racecourse)
Piercefield House, near Chepstow, in recent times. Now a ruin but the extensive parkland has been restored.
Piercefield House circa 1840 from a painting by George Eyre Brooks
Arthur had three younger brothers –
Gerard Arden b1871
Ernest Charles b1872
Wilfred Henry b1874
(a few days after Wilfred was born their mother died).
In the 1871 census Arthur is at Stapenhill House,
and again in 1881, with his widowed father and three brothers (and 8 staff)
Photo from www.burton-on-trent.org.uk
(note from Robin Clay – the figures on the steps could well be the Clay brothers)
After the death of his mother his father Charles married Elizabeth Teasdale Smith in 1883. She was born in Alnwick, Northumberland. She had formerly been governess or housekeeper to the Bott family at Coton Hall near Hanbury, and had possibly been Charles’ housekeeper at some point also.
Charles and Elizabeth had two daughters – Elizabeth Mildred b1886 and Adelaide Hilda b1887. Adelaide later married Henry Clifford, who also died in WWI. Elizabeth sadly died very shortly after the laying of the foundation stone of All Saints church, Newborough (18 September 1899) at the age of 13. The tower was dedicated to her.
I have not used original sources to compile these biographies, but mainly the internet, and on- line information, newspapers, and word of mouth etc. I therefore do not guarantee the accuracy of the information given.
(re Arthur Joseph Clay)
I am grateful to the following –
Google – Wikipedia – Ancestry –
Forces War Records – Free BMD
Commonwealth War Grave Commission
Eastbourne Family History Society
The Magic Attic (Swadlincote)
Any queries please contact Liz Ford on 01283 575244