Claude Middleton McLean was born on 25th November 1898 in Woodstock, Carleton, New Brunswick, Canada.
The 1901 Census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the McLean family was living in Woodstock, New Brunswick. Head of the family James T McLean was Claude’s Grandfather. He was 50. His Grandmother, Catherine was 54. Their children were, Sadie 27 and Nettie 22. Their son, (Claude’s father) was Ernest Middleton McLean 29 who was, born in April 1872. He was a Clerk Druggist. His wife (Claude’s Mother) was Laura (nee Milbury) aged 29. She had been born in March 1972 in New Brunswick. Their listed children were Hildred 8 who was born in August 1892 and Claude aged 3 born November 1898.
Ten years on in 1911, the family was living in their own residence but still in Woodstock. Head was Ernest age 39 a Labourer by trade. His wife Laura was 39. Their daughter Hildred was an 18 year old, Telephone Operator. Claude was 13 and there was a new addition to the family. Marvin aged 7 had been born in December 1902.
Claude’s army records tell us that he enlisted into the 65th Battery on 22nd April 1918 at Woodstock. He named his next of kin as his mother Mrs Laura May McLean of Woodstock, New Bruswick. He declared he was a Farmer.
After basic training in Canada, Claude embarked from Quebec aboard the H.M.T. Themostocles on 10th September 1918 and on arrival in London on 25th September 1918, he was posted to Whitley Army Camp. As hostilities were coming to an end Claude was posted to Kinmel Camp, Rhyl, to await discharge and repatriation to Canada. Tragically, Claude Middleton McLean contracted Influenza and died in the Canadian General Hospital on 19th October 1918.
He was awarded The British War Medal
Claude left his Last Effects to his mother Laura.
(From Library of Canada Archives).
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
He is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
Claude is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.