image from 1918 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper.
Born: 1890, Ipswich.
Died: 21st March 1918; age 28; Died of Wounds. Served 8 years & 197 days
Enlistment Location: Ipswich. Date; 6th September 1909; age 19 years & 8 months; Occupation: Bell Porter. Religion: CofE. Height: 5ft 7. Complexion: fair, eyes: blue, hair: dark brown. Slightly bow legged. Tattoos: bird on left forearm & R. P. love clasped hands & heart on right forearm.
Date of Entry Therein: 23rd August 1914
Rank: Corporal; Service Number: 58567
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery.
Service: Achieved his 3rd Certificate of Education as a Gunner on the 26th November 1913, the report reads that Claude was sober, reliable, trustworthy, hardworking and honest. Charge: 16th July 1914 – 1. Irregular conduct & 2. Making Improper replies to an N.C.O. Promoted to Corporal 7th November 1915. Left for France on the 23rd August 1914. His character was exemplary.
Mentioned in Dispatches, London Gazette, 16th September 1915.
Bombardier C.J.J. West, whose home is at 7, Fitzroy Street, Ipswich, has been in the Army six years, and is a member of the 68th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, which is now attached to the Fourth Division, British Expeditionary Force. He is a very modest man, and so it has only just leaked out that in October last Major-General H.J.M. Wilson commanding the Division, wrote to him as follows: “Your commanding officer and brigade commander have informed me that you have distinguished yourself by conspicuous bravery in the field. I have read their report with much pleasure.” In a note addressed at the same time to the commander of the 14th Artillery, of which West’s Battery forms part. Capt. E.H.G. Leggett, R.A., Brigade Major of the 4th Division, said: “I am directed by the Brigadier-General commanding to request that you will convey his compliments and praises to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the 68th Battery for their most admirable steadiness and coolness, when in action under fire, which he has noticed on two recent occasions. While regretting the losses they have suffered, he would point out that they have been incurred to the general good of the Army under difficult circumstances. He wishes this to be read out to the above unit.”
I. E. 25.
1891 54, Beck Street, Ipswich.
Claude was 11 months old and living with his parents.
Walter William West, 33, a Bill Porter; born Ipswich.
Angelina West (nee Allen), 33; born Ipswich.
Alice Maud A. West, 13, born Ipswich.
Walter William West, 9, born London.
Ada Mary Ann West, 3, born Ipswich.
1901 54, Beck Street, Ipswich.
Claude was 10 years old and living with his parents.
Walter, 43, a Bill Porter.
Emma Elizabeth West, 4, born Ipswich.
Arthur Frederick West, 3, born Ipswich.
1911 Minden Barracks, Deep Cut, Farnborough, Surrey.
Claude was 20 years old and a soldier. He was ranked Gunner in the 68th Battery, Royal Field Artillery.
From April 1918 the Royal Field Artillery were searching for the West family. The local Police found the family had moved to 95, Lacey Street, Ipswich. A letter was then sent to Claude’s father Walter West to ask if he would like his son’s decorations to be presented to him publicly or forwarded by registered post. Walter wrote back that he would like to accept the presentation.
On Friday, 12th July 1918, at Foxhall Heath Camp; Brigadier- General R. K. Walsh presented Mr Walter William West his son Claude’s M.M. & M.S.M.
Soldiers’ Effects to Walter W. West – father.
Claude is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Margaret’s Church, Ipswich.