Contributed by: Mark Savage, on 2008-11-11
|Year of Birth||Unknown|
|Year of Death||1915|
|Regiment||Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Sheerness, Kent|
Until about two years ago, we assumed that we were one of the few families in Britain at the time who were 'lucky' enough not to lose a relative in the Great War.
That's nice, you've named him after your Uncle Clifford
We knew that our maternal grandfather came from a large family, and thought we knew something of all of them. Looking at the census return for 1901 while researching family history, we discovered among our grandfather's siblings was "Clifford".
What happened to Clifford? We didn't recall our grandfather, nor the two great aunties and one great uncle we knew from the Wallace family, ever mentioning him.
Then our aunt told us how when naming her first born, she tried to be careful not to offend either set of grandparents, by choosing a name not previously existing in either family. However, when she told her father the name of his first grandson, his reaction was "oh that's nice, you've named him after your Uncle Clifford".
I can only imagine now how poignant that must have been for grand-dad Wallace, no doubt recalling the big brother old enough [sic] to go to war in 1914 while as a 12 year old he remained back home. And what pain he and his family must have experienced when they received the dreadful news of his death in 1915, just as the apple blossom was blooming in Clifford's native Kent.
90 years after the end of that terrible war, we are proud to honour him, even though we never knew him. A printed copy of the inscription on his grave, in Baileul, adorns our wall on the 11th day of the 11th month. We will remember him, forever, and all who perished.