Photograph courtesy of Pam
Born: 1st May 1881, 41, Wells Street, St. Helen’s, Ipswich.
Died: 13th March 1915; age 34; Died at Estaires from Wounds received at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.
Employed: Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies, Orwell Works, Ipswich.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Date of Entry Therein: 8th November 1914.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 2395
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st/4th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star.
Joint Grave III.B.4.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Sarah Ann Clements, of Ipswich & the late Walter Clements.
1891 41, Wells Street, Ipswich.
John was 9 years old and living with his parents & brother.
Walter John Clements, 33, a Blacksmith, born Whitton, Suffolk.
Sarah Ann Jane Clements (nee Warne), born Ipswich.
Philip Walter Clements, 8, born 41, Wells Street, Ipswich.
1901 41, Wells Street, Ipswich.
John was 20 years old, a Fitter – Engine. He was living with his parents & brothers.
Walter, 43, a Blacksmith.
Philip, 18, a Fitter – Gas.
Albert Patrick Clements, 8, born Ipswich.
1911 117, Cemetery Road, Ipswich.
John was 29 years old, a Lawn Mower Tester – Iron Foundry – Lawn Mowers. He was married and Head of the Household.
Gladys, 3 months.
John’s infant brother, Oliver Alfred Clements, born 1884, 41, Wells Street, Ipswich, died suddenly at the family home 18th May 1885.
John’s father, Walter John Clements died June 1915, Ipswich.
On the 31st May 1903, at St. Helen’s Church, Ipswich, John married Maud Martha Jarrold, born August 1874, 25, John Street, Ipswich – died December 1914, Ipswich.
They had 4 children:
Doris Myra I. Clements, born 1904, St. Helen’s, Ipswich.
Gertrude Winifred M. Clements, born May 1906, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.
Herbert Henry John Clements, born May 1908, 117, Cemetery Road, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.
Gladys Catherine A. Clements, born December 1910, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.
Soldiers’ Effects to Walter & Sarah Ann Clements – parents.
John & Maud’s son Herbert ‘Darkie’ Clements, played football for Ipswich Town Football Club. Herbert died during WW2 of heart failure, in an air raid in Southampton.
John is also remembered on the Orwell Works Memorial Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Ipswich.
Suffolk Regiment, 1st/4th Battalion:
The Battle of Neuve Chapelle 10th – 13th March 1915 was the first planned British offensive of the war. The objective was to take the German line at the Village of Neueve Chapelle and break out and head towards the City of Lille, with the main objective taking the Aubers Ridge beyond which was of strategic value. The Battle started well with a heavy bombardment of the German line (more shells fired on this occasion than the entire Boer War) with an advance which successfully took most of the first and second line trenches, but due to poor communications stalled once the village had been taken. The Germans then had time to set up more defensive lines outside of the village and hold the British advance. 40,000 British and Indian troops took part in the Battle with over 10,000+ Casualties.
The 4th Battalion the Suffolk Regiment entered the battle on the 11th of March taking up positions on the out skirts of the Neuve Chapelle facing the Bois Du Biez which later were ordered to occupy. The 4th Battalion lost many men through shelling on their positions followed by a counter attack on the 12th by the Germans. In total the Battalion sustained 217 casualties.