Regiment : 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Service number : 27896
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 24th August 1916 aged 27
Buried : Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, France, Pier and Face 5A and 6C.
Relatives : Husband of Nellie May Coward (formerly Clay), 11 New Bank St., Barbourne, Worcester
Memorial : Worcester Guildhall
Also appears on : Worcester St Stephen's Church
A photograph of Private A.W. Clay can be found in Berrow’s Worcester Journal Supplement, Saturday 23rd September 1916, available at Worcestershire Archives.
The following information has been researched by Geoff Hill:
16 Four Foot Row, Waterloo Street, Worcester (Blockhouse)
Alfred William Clay, aged 22, washer in laundry
At the same address: George Clay (father), boiler stoker at brewery, mother, 1 brother and 1 sister.
Alfred married Nellie May Yeates in 1912, with daughters born in 1914 and 1915. At the time of Alfred’s death Nellie was living at 11 New Bank Street, Barbourne. Nellie subsequently Harry Coward in 1918.
In August 1916, the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment was engaged in the Battle of the Somme. On 1st July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of British and Empire forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. Attacks continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on the 18th November with the onset of winter.
The Battle of Delville Wood (15th July – 3rd September 1916) was a series of engagements in the 1916 Battle of the Somme.
Alfred Clay has no known grave, the photograph available shows his name on Thiepval Memorial.