252683 SPR. A. E. CLAYTON. R.E.
Albert Edward Clayton was born on 24 January 1898 in Lostock Hall and baptised at Farington St Paul on 10 February. His father was Edward Clayton (b. 1867 in Cuerden Green), a farmer. His mother was Margaret Cooper (b. 1872 in Heskin). Edward and Margaret were married in Bamber Bridge in 1897, at which time both of them were living in Lostock Hall. They had two children, Albert and Frederick (b. 1904). By 1911, they had moved to Lower Farm, Charnock Moss, New Longton. Albert, aged 13, was still at school but he would later be employed as a clerk with the London and North Western Railway.
Albert attested on 27 May 1916 (aged 18) and mobilised on 19 October 1916. He was first posted as a Gunner to the Royal Garrison Artillery on 26 January 1917, with service number 123850. He was 5’ 6½” tall and weighed 129lbs. He began training with the RGA but during the course of that year he was transferred to the Royal Engineers and after successfully completing a signalman course on 31 October 1917 he joined 98th Heavy Artillery Group and was remustered from Pioneer to Sapper (‘remuster’ is a military term for being re-assigned from one category of duties to another).
I haven’t found a War Diary for 98th HAG. It seems likely that Albert joined this group just after the Battle of Cambrai. He was killed in action on 25 January 1918 near Sorel-Le-Grand, a small village between Cambrai and Péronne. He was the only man from his unit killed that day. He was killed the day after his 20th birthday.
Service No: 252683
Date of Death: 25/01/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers, Sig. Sect. attd. 98th Heavy Artillery Group
Grave Reference: III. G. 19.
Cemetery: FINS NEW BRITISH CEMETERY, SOREL-LE-GRAND
Additional Information: Son of Edward and Margaret Clayton, of 42 Bence Road,
Frenchwood, Preston. Born at Lostock Hall, near Preston.
My thanks to Janet Davis who found this article.