William Henry Clifford

Date of birth: 23rd April 1891
Place of birth: Camden Town
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 1/4th (T.F.)
Rank / Service No: Private, 204108
Died: 23rd February 1917, aged 26 years
Buried: Amara War Cemetery, Iraq (Plot XXIX, Row B, Grave 117)

 

Unfortunately it has proven difficult to track down any Census information on William, his parents or any siblings.

All that is known that his father’s name was James and that William’s youth appears to have been spent in London.

 

It is known that he married Henrietta Emily Blampied in Southampton in 1909 and that they had two sons; they lived at 40 South Front, St. Mary’s.

Henrietta was born in Jersey on 22 September 1888 and she survived for an impressive 97 years, passing away in Southampton in early 1986.

 

Children

Eric William   b. 1912 Southampton   d. 1914 Southampton

Malcolm Douglas L.   b. 1914 Southampton   d. 1995 Southampton   Married Laura E. Floyd in Southampton in 1940.

 

The 1/4th battalion was formed at Winchester in August 1914, part of the Hampshire Brigade in the Wessex Division.

They landed in Karachi on 11 November 1914 but sailed for Mesopotamia in early March 1915, arriving at Basra on 18th with the 33rd Indian Brigade.

The battalion was to remain in Mesopotamia and Persia for the rest of the war.

 

The Battalion HQ and one Company were captured at Kut-el-Amara on 29 April 1916 and the remainder formed a composite battalion with the 1/5th battalion, the Buffs, and – attached to the 35th Indian Brigade – transferred to the 14th Indian division.

The battalion then transferred to the 36th Indian Division in November 1916.

The battalion transferred to Persia in January 1918 and was still fighting in August 1919.

 

Amara was occupied by the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force on 3 June 1915 and it immediately became a hospital centre.

By April 1917, seven general hospitals and some smaller units were stationed there.

925 of the 4621 WW1 burials in the cemetery are unidentified. All headstones were removed in 1933 when they were found to be deteriorating.

 

All names now appear on a screen wall.

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 23rd June 2016
Updated:

 

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