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Lieutenant Clifford Stanton


No Man’s Cottage Cemetery Grave B.1

‘D’ Company, 10th Battalion Welsh Regiment, 114th Infantry Brigade, 38th Division

Age 23

KIA 31.7.17

The eldest son of Charles Butt Stanton CBE, JP, member of the Independent Labour Party. He was from a mining and trade union background and was active in the south Wales coalfield and in the London docks strike of 1898. He was a member of the precursor to the Communist Party of Britain the British Socialist Party. Despite this he adopted a jingoistic tone to the war and was involved in breaking up a peace movement meeting in Cardiff in November 1916. He stood as the ILP candidate in the by-election following the death of Keir Hardy, who was the sitting MP, and was elected MP for Merthyr Tydfil 1915 to 1918. He was elected as MP for Aberdare from 1918 to 1922. He married Alice in 1893 and they had two sons.

 

Early Life

Clifford was born on 23 April 1894 in Aberdare and was educated at Intermediate and Higher-Grade Schools in the town and was a Silver and Gold Medallist for proficiency on the violin. On leaving school he worked as a colliery cashier. He enlisted on 8 September 1914 in the Welsh Regiment as a Private number 2361 and joined the 5th Battalion. He went to France in 1915 and joined the 13th Battalion and he was selected for a commission and on completing his training in the UK he returned to France in March 1917. He was Mentioned in Despatches for going out under the cover of darkness and capturing a flag from the German flag which they had been flying from their parapet. He presented the flag to his Colonel.  

 

His Death

On the 31 July 1917 the Battalion was one of the lead units on the opening day of Third Ypres and the Battle of Pilkem Ridge.


Linesman map showing the trench lines and the areas of the attack on 31 July 1917

Quartermaster Sergeant Jones letter in the Western Mail

The Battalion went forward from the trenches at 3.50am with the support a barrage. The ground was heavy due to the rain and being blasted by the artillery. ‘D’ Company led the attack on the right of the Battalions line. Clifford received a shrapnel wound to the right leg and carried on only to be hit again. Quartermaster Sergeant Jones, who was with him, wrote to Clifford’s parents and the letter featured in the Western Mail under the heading ‘Lt Clifford Stanton’s Gallant End



War Diary listing casualties

Headstone


Authors image

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