Clover, William Henry

I found William Henry Clover on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website by chance, whilst I was looking up someone else.   I looked and he is not to my knowledge on any local war memorial, so I started to research him and found he had been living in Shotton, indeed, so was his father, with the same name, who had served in WW1, but survived.

William Henry Clover (Junior) was born in 1914 and was baptised at Durrington on the 16th of August 1914, the s/o William Harry (Henry crossed out) & Maria CLOVER, Durrington, Sergeant R.F.C.  – (the Royal Flying Corps.)

I believe that William H. Clover (snr.) may have married in the December quarter of 1913 (Wokingham Vol.  2c Page 951 – The district Wokingham spans the boundaries of the counties of Wiltshire and Berkshire).

There is another marriage that may fit that I need to tell you about – in the March Quarter of 1914 –

CLOVER             William H           Nichols

NICHOLS             Maria                  Clover  (Amesbury Vol. 5a Page 252 – The district Amesbury is in the county of Wiltshire) – the Certificate would have to be purchased to find out which is correct.  There may have been a clerical error at the Superintendent’s Office, or there were two couples with the same name.

However, there is a Transcription on Find-my-Past that gives more information. It was from the Berkshire Marriage Index.   It gives the date of the marriage as the 29th of Oct 1913 in the Church of St Mary.  It also gives Maria Nichols’s age as 29, spinster, occupation – Church Army Evangelist Sister, residence – Wargrave, her father’s name as Henry Nichols (deceased) & William Henry Clover, 31, Widower, occupation – Soldier HM Royal Flying Corps, Residence – Wargrave, his father Charles Edward, Engineer.  (By Banns).

Witnesses : – Charles Edward Clover*; Maude Louisa Clover**; William Henry Withers


** Sister-in-Law

Transcriptions © Berkshire Family History Society

William H. Clover Snr. was in WW1, and on his Attestation Papers, dated the 1st of November 1912, it tells us that he had been born in Port Elizabeth, Cape of Good Hope, and he was married, Regimental No. 468.    He had previously been in the Royal Engineers and had a Free Discharge under Article 1058(A), (Royal Warrant for ?ayog? – see below).   There are 3 different addresses on his Medal Card and 1 on his Service Records.   On his discharge as a Flt. Lieut, he was placed on the Retired List of Officers on the 23rd of March 1920 and then appointed the Official Civilian Recruiter for the R.A.F. for the Reading district w/e 10th of May 1920.   I have some of his documents, if anyone is interested, please contact the website.

I do know from Electoral Registers that at least in 1923 to the spring of 1924, William Henry & Maria were living at The Bungalow, Lynwood Chase, Bracknell and then in the Autumn of 1924, according to the above Registers they were living at 3, Council Cottages, Binfield up to at least 1930.

I do not know anything about William H. Clover Jnr’s early or teenage years, but he is seen on the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th of September 1939 living at 49 King Edward Street, Shotton, Chester, in the household of James & Margaret E. Stonehouse, possibly as a lodger he gives his date of birth as the 30th of July 1914, and he is single and a Joiner.

His father, William H. Clover Snr. was living at 3, Park Avenue, Shotton, with his new wife a Harriet Clover, who, I believe he had married in a Civil Marriage in the March quarter of 1939, (North Wales, Flintshire (Mold) HAW/14/61), and whose date of birth is given as the 4th of April 1893 and as most married women are described on this register doing “Domestic Duties Unpaid.”   William H. Clover, Snr’s date of birth was the 6th of October 1882, which agrees with his R.A.F. Service Records which I have a copy.   Also in the household was Marjorie Clover, d.o.b. 17th June 1926 and who went on to marry Harold Fleet in the September quarter of 1946 in Chester.   There is one closed record.

Winifred, Clover, William H. Clover Jnr’s sister and the daughter of the above is living in the same street at No. 6, Park Avenue, incidentally with my Auntie Doris and Uncle Mathew!

I do not know when William H. Clover enlisted but as he died in 1940 it seems that he was in the war very early although he is seen on the 1939 National Register still in Shotton, but that was only the end of September.

He became a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, 5th Training Bn.   That meant, at times, defusing bombs, but the casualty list does not say accidently killed, just “Died.”

However, I do not know how or why William Henry Clover became ill, but he died in this country, see the Casualty List, where he is said to have simply “Died”, at “Home,” (“Home” meaning the UK), to have been able to be buried in Hawarden, but I cannot find out what happened to him, any information would be gratefully received.     “Died” usually means that they died of disease and not of war service, but we need to get his death certificate and there is a death in Birmingham that fits but would need to buy the certificate to confirm or deny.   It was in the September quarter which fits as William Henry died in August (Birmingham Vol.  6d Page 149).  This source tells us that he was with the Royal Engineers, 5 Tng. Bn., does this mean he was in Training or training other people, I will have to pursue this line of enquiry.

I contacted WW2talk Forum

They were able to help as usual, Charley Fortnum told me that No 5 Training Battalion, Royal Engineers was located at Blacon Camp, Chester during September 1940.   However, if the death I have found, above, is correct, why was he in Birmingham?   His burial in Hawarden was on the 23rd of August 1940, he died in the General Hospital, Birmingham.

\William Henry must be remembered by being added to any new war memorial in Connah’s Quay & Shotton.   I do not know why he was missed off.






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